By Rodger M. Wood
Fourth liner Joel Ward, assisted by Mike Knuble, scored the dramatic winning goal in overtime to beat Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins 2-1 in the seventh game of their quarterfinal playoffs series.
Capitals third and fourth lines dominated much of play with hard forechecking and backchecking all over the ice, with third liner Matt Hendricks scoring the first period goal to put the Caps ahead 1-0.
22- year old goalie Braden Holtby had another unbelievable 1-goal game, allowing only Tyler Seguin’s tying goal in the second period. Nose to nose against last year’s Stanley Cup playoff MVP Tim Thomas, Holtby allowed only14 goals in 7 games for a 2.00 goals against average, while stopping a phenomenal .967 percent of all shots.
It was a team effort throughout the series. The Caps bought into Coach Hunter’s defensive system and stopped a Bruins offense which had six players scoring 20 goals or more during the regular season, and monster defensemen, Zdeno Charra and Dennis Seidenberg manning the blue line.
Capital players blocked shots with abandon, hard checked the opposition and held their ground against a very tough Milan Lucic led team.
While forward Matt Hendrick, Mike Knuble, and Jay Beagle’s all out play sparked the team, 14 Capitals players scored at one goal, with Alexander Semin scoring three goals and Ovie two.
Defenseman John Carlson and Karl Alzner played outstanding hockey against the Bruins top scoring lines, and, with center Brook Laich killing penalties, including one at 2 minute mark of the third period which almost killed the Caps.
The Caps have to wait for the Rangers/Senators and Panthers/Devils 7th game outcomes before they know their opponents in the semi-final series which starts this Saturday.