“Game 7” was a phrase that most Capitals fans did not like to hear prior to May 24, 2018, due to the team’s 4-11 record previously in winner-take-all games. Although it is still not a happy phrase by any stretch of the imagination, Andre Burakovsky and his two-goal breakout performance helped ease the pain of Game 7s past by catapulting the Capitals into the Stanley Cup Final.

Burakovsky’s second goal in Game 7 vs Tampa Bay already made its way onto our countdown of the Top 20 Goals of the Stanley Cup Final and today, it is his first goal that late May day which lands at number 11 on our list.

After Alex Ovechkin made it known that the Caps were not wallowing in the past with his opening goal just 1:02 into the game, the Lightning surged and peppered Braden Holtby with 9 of the next 10 shots. That trend continued into the second period when Tampa Bay fired 8 of the first 9 shots in the second frame. 

It was the 10th shot of the 2nd period though that proved to be the difference maker. Lars Eller fired a puck from the center into the Tampa Bay defensive zone where it hit Lighting defenseman Dan Girardi in the chest. Andre Burakovsky put pressure on Girardi and forced a turnover in the high slot before firing a quick wrister past the blocker of Andrei Vasilevskiy to give the Caps a little cushion with a 2-0 lead.

Injuries and healthy scratches limited Burakovsky’s playing time throughout the first three rounds, but the young Swedish winger found the perfect time to have his signature moment with the only NHL franchise he has ever known. After being bandied about as a potential trade chip around the NHL’s trade deadline last month, Burakovsky has really come into his own since finding out he would be spending at least the rest of the season with the defending champs.


Saturday’s showdown with Tampa Bay will be the first time both teams will take the same ice since Burakovksy’s standout performance in Game 7 and if he can continue his recent good play, he just might find his name on the scoresheet once more.