Caps Road to the Cup: Top 10 Moments from the Playoffs #8 Jakub Vrana’s Go-Ahead Goal Lifts Capitals to Unfamiliar Territory

Capitals jersey off back Bowey Vrana Chiasson (2018-04-08-1037)

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There was some nervous tension around Capital One Arena on Saturday May 5 after two periods. After Alex Ovechkin scored a game-winning goal in Pittsburgh to put the Capitals in front 2-1, Tom Wilson was suspended for three games for a controversial hit on Zach Aston-Reese. The Caps dropped Game 4 and were trailing the Penguins 3-2 entering the final 20 minutes.Β 

Date: May 5, 2018

Round: Second

Game: Five (Series tied 2-2)

Result: Capitals 6, Penguins 3

The Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Jamie Oleksiak before the Caps answered with tallies from John Carlson on the power play and Brett Connolly, 33 seconds apart, to take a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Then things got bad in the middle frame. Very bad.

The Penguins struck for two unanswered goals, both on the power play, on goals from Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Capitals played their worst period of the entire postseason. They were outshot 18-5.

We won’t know what head coach Barry Trotz told his players at the second intermission but whatever he said resonated with the boys in red. 52 seconds into the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the game on a breakaway.

Late in the third with 4:38 to go, Alex Ovechkin came chugging down the ice and dished off the puck to Jakub Vrana. If you heard a bunch of girls screaming on Cinco De Mayo, it wasn’t coming from a concert. Their guy scored to give the Caps the lead for good.

The Penguins pulled their goalie with under two minutes left. With the Pens on the attack with an extra skater, T.J. Oshie made a great sliding play to pickpocket Phil Kessel and fired a shot from mid-ice for an empty net goal. Lars Eller added the exclamation point.

The 6-3 victory pushed the Penguins to the brink and gave the Caps an opportunity to slay their biggest demon in their own. The victory was just as sweet for Caps fans as it gave them the opportunity to reclaim the National Portrait Gallery steps. Those steps would be theirs for the rest of the spring and as each Caps win got chalked off it got even harder to get on those steps. They were packed!

Here’s another look from Game 5.

Miss a moment?! Catch up here!

10.Β Nicky’s Game-Winner Over Columbus

9.Β Caps Dominate Bolts to Force Game 7

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