Pittsburgh and Anaheim Both Win Game 7’s to Advance in Stanley Cup Playoffs
It was an exciting night of hockey in the NHL on May 10th, with two slots in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals to be decided. The Pittsburgh Penguins were at the Washington Capitals and the Edmonton Oilers were at the Anaheim Ducks, with both series tied at three games apiece.
In Washington, the Capitals were trying to live up to expectations, again, rather than underachieving, again, while Pittsburg was trying to keep its hopes alive of repeating as Cup champions. Thanks in large part to the outstanding performance of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins shut out the Capitals 2-0 to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators. Fleury stopped 29 shots, but it wasn’t just the number of saves, it was the way he made them, making some acrobatic saves. Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist scored the Pittsburgh goals, sending Washington home again. Much was made about how Washington’s Alex Ovechkin didn’t get the job done in the series—he was moved to the third line at one point in an effort to get the offense moving, but ultimately the Capitals fell short. It turns out Ovechkin was suffering from an unspecified lower body injury during the series, and he won’t be competing for Russia in the upcoming world championships.
In Anaheim, the Ducks were trying to reverse their trend of losing Game 7s of playoff series, something they had done five times in a row. They got that monkey off their back with an exciting 2-1 win over the up and coming Edmonton Oilers.
Anaheim will host the Nashville Predators for the Western Conference title and Pittsburgh will host the Ottawa Senators for the Eastern Conference Championship.