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Alex Ovechkin, Capitals put halt to 20-year East finals drought

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals put halt to 20-year East finals drought

Alex Ovechkin had played in 1,003 regular-season games and 109 playoff games without advancing beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Barry Trotz had coached 1,524 regular-season games and 101 more in the playoffs, without ever advancing to even the conference finals.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“It’s always thrown in your face, everywhere you turn,” said Trotz. “I know it’s thrown in Ovi’s face everywhere he turns, and he’s a great player in this league.”

After Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, that particular smear against the Washington Capitals’ star player, their coach and the franchise itself was wiped away.

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal in overtime eliminated the Capitals’ postseason tormentors in a 2-1 win, and propelled them to their first championship-round series in 20 years. Washington will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals for the right to play for the Stanley Cup.132

“It feels great. I’ve never been in this position before,” Ovechkin said after the game. “Thank God this happened. We move forward and now I can’t wait for the next game and get ready for Tampa.”

For Ovechkin, the win over the Penguins continues perhaps the best postseason of his career. After failing to overcome Sidney Crosby and his team in three previous tries, Ovechkin was instrumental in Washington’s series win, which cut their all-time series deficit to the Penguins to 2-9. He won Game 3 in Pittsburgh with a goal with 1:07 left in regulation. He assisted on Kuznetsov’s goal in Game 6, springing his linemate for the breakaway tally.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Ovechkin has 15 points in 12 games for the Capitals. He’s not a passenger in this run to the conference finals, but a driver.

“He’s always been good in the playoffs, too. He takes a beating every time, but he’s always been good in the playoffs. Our rock. Our captain,” said Capitals center Jay Beagle.