Penguins 2 – Capitals 0
Off to the Conference Finals for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins on goals from Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist, knocked out the President Trophy winners for the second straight season with a 2-0 win in Game 7.
Washington’s momentum from Games 5 and 6 did not carry over into Game 7 and the Penguins showed tonight why they’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
From Marc Andre Fleury between the pipes, to skaters 1-18, it was a vintage Penguin performance in everyone doing what it took to deliver a win.
The Penguins withstood an early surge as the Capitals had four shots in the first 2:18, only to hold the Capitals without a shot for the next 13 minutes in period one.
The Penguins started to get to their game and would then be the one’s to rise to the occasion from there.
Mr. Elimination Game Bryan Rust put the Penguins up 1-0 at 8:49 of the second period and Pittsburgh got Washington in another situation of chasing the game.
Most impressive with the Penguins was the killer instinct in period three.
They pounced on the Capitals with a 7-1 shot advantage to open the period and Patric Hornqvist scored a huge goal 4:14 into the period to put the Penguins ahead 2-0. Leading to the goal was Alex Ovechkin unable to clear the zone on a pinch from Justin Schultz.
And boy did the Capitals go out with a whimper in the final period.
With a 2-0 lead, it was game over as the Penguins made the Capitals into a dump and chase team and Washington was rarely a threat in the final period as Marc Andre Fleury was spectacular on the night for the shutout with a 29 save performance.
The Penguins get to continue to chase their fifth Stanley Cup, while the Washington Capitals now get to ponder about another ‘What IF’ Season.
Game 1 vs Ottawa is Saturday.
PIT 8:49 Bryan Rust (5) | Assists: Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby
PIT 4:14 Patric Hornqvist (4) | Assist: Justin Schultz