Braden Holtby turned aside all 29 shots he faced in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Capitals will now move on to play the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. Holtby, posted back-to-back shutouts to take of Tampa. These were the only shutouts Holtby has posted all year. Talk about great timing…
The Washington Capitals are in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.
“I’m emotional right now,” Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.”
Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 1:02 into the game when he scored on a one-timer from the top of the left face-off circle off a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov.
His team was off and running after that.
Andre Burakovsky extended Washington’s lead to 2-0 at 8:59 of the second period. Dan Girardi couldn’t handle the puck in the middle of the defensive zone, and Burakovsky took it away and scored on a shot under Vasilevskiy’s blocker from the right side.
“It’s a dump-in, it hits me in the chest and I was just trying to not close my hand on it and take a penalty,” Girardi said. “It just trickled away from me, couldn’t get it. It’s a tough bounce.”
Burakovsky buried his second of the game on a breakaway, making it 3-0. talk about making a name for yourself in Game 7.
With the way, Holtby has been playing three goals was more than enough.
Nick Backstrom made it 4-0 with an empty-net goal at 16:17 of the third period.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Backstrom said. “So now we’re in the Final and we’re going to do everything we can do something special here for us, for the team and for the city.”
The Stanley Cup Final will feature a team who has battled years of demons to get to this stage… Up against a storybook first-year franchise.
Keep in mind, these General Managers are very familiar with each other. George McPhee used to run the Capitals, before taking over the expansion Golden Knights.
So who’s gameplay will finally win a Stanley Cup?