2018 saw the Capitals finally hoisting the Stanley Cup for the very first time. Before that, however, they had to go through their division rival and back-to-back champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Evgeny Kuznetsov "exorcised the demons" with his breakaway, overtime game-winning goal in Game 6 to propel the Caps to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1998.
Sunday, March 29, NBC Sports Washington will be airing Games 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Round 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Capitals and Penguins. Here's how to tune in.
When: Sunday, March 29, 11 a.m.
- NBC Sports Washington (channel finder)
- Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
11 a.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Round 2: Pittsburgh @ Washington Game 2
2 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Round 2: Washington @ Pittsburgh Game 3
4:30 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Round 2: Pittsburgh @ Washington Game 5
7:00 p.m.: NHL Classics: 2018 Playoffs Washington @ Pittsburgh Game 6
What happened in Round 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Game 2: After the Penguins took Game 1, the Caps came back strong to even the series in Game 2, defeating the Penguins 4-1 at Capital One Arena. The Caps struck early, with Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana each netting a goal in the first period. In the second period, the Penguins got their only goal of the game, but not before the Caps went up by three goals thanks to a breakaway goal by Brett Connolly. In the third, the Pens tried to come back with what looked to be goal number two, but was called a no-goal by just millimeters. The Caps finished it off by a beautiful empty-netter by Nicklas Backstrom to even the series and win 4-1.
Game 3: The Caps headed up North to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins for Game 3 and came out with a 4-3 win to take the series lead. The first period remained scoreless after three puck bounces didn't go the Caps' way on some solid chances. In the second, the Caps took advantage of a power play just seconds into the period, John Carlson netting the slapshot to take the 1-0 lead. Minutes later, however, Jake Guentzel caught the rebound in front of the net to tie it at 1. Another few minutes later, the Pens took advantage of a penalty on Brooks Orpik to take the 2-1 lead, Patric Hornqvist tapping it past Braden Holtby. The Caps finally answered with a Chandler Stephenson close-range slapshot to tie it at 2, but the Pens came right back to take the lead heading into the third with a Sidney Crosby highlight-reel caliber goal. In the third, Matt Niskanen sent one over Matt Murray's glove six minutes into the period to tie the game at 3. With just over a minute to play, a vintage Nicklas Backstrom to Alex Ovechkin sealed the deal for the Caps to secure the 4-3 win.
Game 5: After the Pens took Game 4, the Caps headed back to Washington to try and reclaim the series lead, and came out victorious with a commanding 6-3 win. The Pens took the lead early in the first with a goal by Jamie Oleksiak. The Caps finally answered with two late first period goals in 33 seconds, the first a slapshot by John Carlson, followed by Brett Connolly to take the 2-1 lead heading into the second. In the second, the Penguins took the 3-2 lead, scoring two unanswered goals. But in the third period, all hell broke loose. The Caps returned to score FOUR unanswered goals in the third to beat the Penguins 6-3.
Game 6: The Game that "exorcised the demons," for Washington, the Caps returned to Pittsburgh for what would be a final Game 6 to propel them to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1998. Superb goaltending by Braden Holtby and Matt Murray rendered both teams scoreless heading into the second period. Alex Chiasson got the first goal of the game to put the Caps up 1-0 just a few minutes into the second, but Kris Letang answered for the Pens with a slapshot to tie it. More Penguins' chances in the second were stopped by more highlight-reel caliber goaltending by Holtby heading into the pivotal third period, which resulted in overtime. After the Pens rang one off the post, the Caps followed minutes later with an Alex Ovechkin pass to a wide-open Evgeny Kuznetsov, who shot it past Murray to "exorcise the demons" and give the Caps their first Eastern Conference Final appearance in 19-years.
Don't miss the chance to relive the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Sunday, March 29 on NBC Sports Washington.
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