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4 reasons the Caps finished off the Penguins in Game 6

4 reasons the Caps finished off the Penguins in Game 6

The Capitals did it. They finally did it. For the first time since 1998, the Caps are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Washington stifled the Penguins' offense all night long to force overtime and Evgeny Kuznetsov knocked the monkey off his team's back with his overtime winner. The Caps defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 in Game 6 to end the reign of the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

Here's how they did it.

Four Reasons Why the Capitals beat the Penguins in Game 6

1. A fourth-line goal

The Caps were without Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson in Game 6.

That meant the Caps went into Pittsburgh trying to eliminate the Penguins with a lineup that featured Travis Boyd and Nathan Walker both making their NHL playoff debuts. Considering how deep the Penguins are, you would think the depth advantage would go to Pittsburgh. Yet, Washington opened the scoring with a fourth line goal as Walker fed Alex Chiasson for the one-timer to beat Matt Murray. That goal put the Caps up 1-0 in the second.

2. Braden Holtby’s big, second-period save

With the score tied at 1 in the second period, the Penguins made a late push to try to take the 2-1 lead. Evgeni Malkin fed a backhand pass to a charging Justin Schultz in the slot, but Holtby made the phenomenal save as he shrugged away the puck with the shoulder.

The save came with just eight seconds left. That would have been a game-changing goal to say the least.

3. No easy passes

Washington did a masterful job getting into the passing lanes of the Penguins all game long. They generated multiple turnovers and really frustrated the offense of Pittsburgh as they got a stick in between seemingly every pass the Penguins tried to make. Pittsburgh is a fast team that likes to move the puck quickly with fast breakouts.

The Caps could not afford to trade chances with them. Instead, they mucked up the ice and did not allow the Pittsburgh’s offense to flow.

4. Murray’s five-hole

Evgeny Kuznetsov tied Game 5 with a goal through the five-hole of Matt Murray.

In overtime, Kuznetsov had another breakaway, deked to open up the five-hole and again took advantage.

Remember this goal because it will go down as one of the biggest in franchise history.

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CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST: GAME 6

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Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway discuss how they would survive a zombie apocalypse

Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway discuss how they would survive a zombie apocalypse

Have you ever wondered what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

Sure you have. 

In this worst-case scenario, it’s important to think about where you would go, what you would eat and what would be your weapon of choice. 

But no worries, if you haven’t thought that far ahead Washington Capitals players Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway have shared some ideas. 

On the latest episode of Between Two Blue Lines podcast, hosted by Zach Guerette, Dowd and Hathaway had some fun explaining how they would survive a zombie apocalypse.  

“I honestly think I would find as many bags of Power up as I could. Power up lasts forever and its high energy which you’re going to need battling zombies,” Hathaway said.

“I’ve always thought about this do you go into the woods and disappear? I mean the zombies necessarily shouldn’t be out there because they seem like they stick in cities,” Dowd chimed in.

“So the first thing I think I’d do is raid a gun store,” Dowd said.

When asked about their weapon of choice, Dowd replied, “Samurai sword, it’s so sharp you can’t run out of bullets.” 

Dowd and Hathaway also discussed The Bachelor. 

When asked which Capitals player would be eliminated first on the Bachelor, Garnet responded, “Lars.” “I would love to see V in that situation ... he would only last an episode.”

Dowd, on the other hand, answered, “Tom would be the guy that stirs the pot & gets people going.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker: Latest news, reports and rumors

2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker: Latest news, reports and rumors

The NHL season is about two-thirds complete, which means the NHL Trade Deadline has arrived.

Several teams have already made moves this season, adding pieces for what they hope will be the missing part to a Stanley Cup run.

Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders have made trades this week. Should the Washington Capitals, who suddenly have a slim point in the Metro, feel pressure to make a move, too?

Several players, such as Rangers' forward Chris Kreider, Kings' defender Alec Martinez, and Red Wings defender Trevor Daley are on the block. Will each one of them have new homes come Feb. 24?

Here's everything you need to know.

2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Feb. 16 - TRADE - The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired left-winger Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the prospect Nolan Foote and first-round picks in either the 2020 or 2021 NHL Draft.

Feb. 16 - The Colorado Avalanche have shown interest in Devils winger Blake Coleman, but have not offered a trade, according to Pierre LeBrun.

Feb. 16 - TRADE - The New York Islanders have bolstered their defensive unit, acquiring New Jersey Devils captain Andy Greene in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick and prospect David Quenneville. 

Feb. 10 - TRADE - Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker is headed east. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Zucker for defenseman prospect Calin Addison, forward Alex Galchenyuk and a first-round pick in either the 2020 or 2021 NHL Draft.

Feb. 5 - TRADE - The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goalie Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings. In return, the Kings receive forward Trevor Moore and third-round picks in both the 2020 and 2021 NHL Draft.

More updates will come as the deadline gets closer.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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