Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Remove a 'Skeleton in the Closet'

Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Remove a 'Skeleton in the Closet'

Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Remove a 'Skeleton in the Closet'

Last year, Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby was the difference maker in the Caps and Pens series.

The team finished off the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six on Monday night by a score of 2-1 to take the series 4-2.

The Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in overtime. To make matters worse, Washington had been eliminated in the second round by their rival three times since 2009. Holtby gave up 13 goals on 164 shots in the series to the potent Penguins. This is the first time that the DC team has advanced to a conference final in 20 years. During game two of the first round series, Holtby was given his net back and his play soared.

If advancing past the second round and the Penguins is really enough to finally take the heat off Ovechkin, to change the conversation and allow him to be viewed in the proper light, then let's champion the result, if only because it helped rid the stench of these narratives once and for all. In Wilson's three games on the top-line he chipped in for four assists while also setting the tone with his physicality. Game Seven will be Thursday in Nashville.

Ovechkin has 15 points in 12 games for the Capitals. They're just as secure at defenseman, with 31-year-old Kris Letang (2021-22), 27-year-old Justin Schultz (2019-20), 26-year-old Brian Dumoulin (2022-23) and 23-year-old Olli Maatta (2021-22) signed to long-term contracts.

Had you not known any better, you'd have thought the Capitals had just won the Stanley Cup, when in reality they had made it through just 25 percent of the NHL's post-season grind. Ovi has led the NHL in scoring since he entered the league in 2005-06 with 661 goals in 1,112 games.

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The victory must have been extra sweet for Ovechkin, who had played 109 playoff games in his career without advancing past the Eastern Conference semifinals. So how does a player of this type of caliber never reach an Eastern Conference Finals? Crosby, first in line, shook Ovechkin's hand, patted him and wished him well.

For Ovechkin, the win over the Penguins continues perhaps the best postseason of his career. Now, the Capitals record improves to 2-9 against the Penguins in the playoffs.

The 2018 Washington Capitals are writing their own history.

A number of players have been regular faces at Penguins games once again this season, with linebacker Ryan Shazier also making several appearances during their playoff run. But four of the teams that skew younger - the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils - are in their division and are considered teams on the rise.

Evgeny Kuznetsov's overtime goal gave the Capitals a 2-1 win over the Penguins on the road. The Capitals won 4-3. He was tied for fourth in playoff goal-scoring over that span with Patrick Sharp, and only Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane scored more than them.

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