Do you feel like the summer is too long to go without hockey? So do we!
To give you your hockey fix and to pass the time from now until the start of next season, CSN proudly presents the Caps Summer Series, a series of four episodes that will broadcast on CSN in July.
The first episode, Top Playoff Moments in Team History, will air on Saturday, July 15 at 7 p.m. (channel finder). Check out the teaser clip above!
To get you ready, here are the favorite playoff moments from Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir and Capitals correspondent J.J. Regan.
El-Bashir: I’ve been fortunate to cover a lot of playoff hockey over the years. I’ve seen thrilling overtime wins. And, yes, a few gut-wrenching Game 7 defeats, too. But the game I’ll talk about until the day I die occurred May 4, 2009 at Verizon Center. That’s right, the dueling hat tricks by back-to-back league MVPs Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the game’s biggest stars at the height of their popularity. I’ll never forget how the building erupted after each of Ovechkin’s two third period goals—the first on the power play from his office—or Crosby hitting the pause button the manic celebration when he batted his own rebound out of midair and past Semyon Varlamov with 30 seconds remaining to pull the Pens within a goal. At times, Varlamov was the only thing standing between the Penguins’ captain and five or six goals. Ultimately, the Caps held on for a 4-3 victory. They also seized a 2-0 series lead. As a beat writer, nothing is more stressful than a night playoff game that features multiple, late momentum swings. There’s so much to capture and so little time to conduct interviews and type. On that night, though, there was no pressure. The game story wrote itself. I also recall filing my piece to The Washington Post with a huge smile on my face while thinking, “I’ll never see anything like that again.”
Regan: I have not been covering the Capitals professionally for nearly as long Tarik, but I have been following this team my entire life. Despite their unfortunate playoff history, I do have many fond memories of great playoff moments. I was in college watching Game 7 against the New York Rangers in 2009 with my roommate. A Rangers’ fan who lived in our house came into our room to trash talk and the moment he stepped in, Sergei Fedorov scored the go-ahead goal. He turned around and walked out without saying a word while my roommate and I went berserk. I was in a bar for Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in 2012. When Joel Ward scored I literally jumped out of the booth. All the Caps fans started jumping up and down together in the middle of the bar. The first game I covered professionally was Game 1 against the New York Islanders in 2014. Every playoff game since has been an incredible thrill. But nothing will compare to May 25, 1998. It was Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Buffalo Sabres. Matthew Barnaby tied the game at 2 with less than a minute remaining in the third period and began taunting the crowd. As a kid, it felt as if my world was falling apart. There is no justice, Santa Claus isn’t real, the Tooth Fairy is a fraud, nothing will ever be OK again. I wasn’t the only one who saw Barnaby, however. The Caps bench saw it too and the team was fired up to play in overtime. My faith in humanity was restored when Todd Krygier scored just 3:01 into overtime to win the game. It is the only conference final game the Capitals have won in Washington. That game is of course overshadowed by Joe Juneau’s overtime winner in Game 6, but not to me. To me, Game 2 is the greatest playoff moment I have ever experienced.
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