Carolina Hurricanes: Three Keys to forcing a Game 7 vs Capitals

Justin Faulk (27) and Justin Williams (14) celebrate Staal's goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, April 22, 2019.

With its playoff hopes on the line in overtime, Nashville was hoping to force a Game 7.

"It's over", Ovechkin said following a third period that saw the Hurricanes score three unanswered goals. "Having success in those critical moments, I think, gives everybody a little confidence that they can handle it".

"We've been here before, we've done it before", forward Devante Smith-Pelly said.

"We wouldn't be in this situation without them", goaltender Braden Holtby said.

"The thing we had success with a year ago was the situation didn't bother us at all; we just played our game", Holtby said.

The Capitals had control early on with Brett Connolly scoring five minutes into the game, picking up the puck along the boards behind the net and skating around untouched to go top shelf on Petr Mrazek.

It seemed "clear" to the Capitals' captain. "He didn't gain control, he didn't see it", Ovechkin told the media following the game.

Asked by a reporter about the call, Capitals coach Todd Reirden said: "It's kind of unclear for me as well right now".

"I don't want to be a bad guy or something, but it was not fun", Ovechkin said. He's been steadily booed since his Game 3 fight with Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov, which ended with the 19-year-old fellow Russian in the concussion protocol after taking several blows to the face then banging his head on the ice as he fell. The Hurricanes need to stay out of the box and make whatever adjustments they can on the penalty-kill; it may very well decide the game. They needed overtime for a 2-1 win in that Game 6 as well - four overtimes to beat San Jose in the second round of the 2008 playoffs.

The story of this Capitals team is inextricably tied to last year's, the defending champions who either go back-to-back or fall short of that stated goal.

John Klingberg scored from the left circle 17:02 into overtime and the Stars wrapped up their first-round Western Conference playoff series in six games.

  • Angelo Rivera