2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Shipping Up to Boston for a Game 7
The Boston Bruins were trying to stave of elimination Sunday after going down 3-2 in the NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The Washington Capitals were looking to move ahead by taking the series on home ice in front of a sea of red.
Boston wanted to play more. Washington wanted to get this over with.
The Bruins opened the scoring with a goal from Rich Peverley. Andrew Ference ripped a shot from the slot and Peverley redirected it past Braden Holtby to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Near the halfway mark of the first period, Mike Green tied it up for the Caps. Green was all alone at the point and cocked his stick twice before letting off a bomb of a shot to beat Tim Thomas with the help of Greg Zanon's knee.
With a little more than three minutes left, David Krejci regained the lead for the Bruins on a power play caused by a hooking call on Alexander Semin.
Krejci gained the line and passed the puck to Lucic, who made a shot from a bad angle. It was tipped by Krejci and gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
There was a mass mess and confusion in the latter half of the period.
Patrice Bergeron was called for the high stick, then Holtby headed for the bench. There was a clear yell of "too many men'' by the officials. The whistle immediately blew, with the Caps having possession of the puck. On the replay, there were indeed seven Capitals on the ice. There were six with the extra attacker and then an extra man on.
Yet only Bergeron's penalty was called.
The announcers at NBC were a bit confused and weren't sure what to make of it. They thought it was going to be a four-on-four.
Shortly after the power play, Washington's Jason Chimera popped Boston's Brad Marchand, a hit that put him down and out of the play in what could have been an interference call. Chimera himself continued moving up and got the pass from Nicklas Backstrom with a wide-open net, Boston goalie Tim Thomas had committed to cutting down Backstrom.
On the replay, Dennis Seidenberg didn't pick up Chimera coming from behind and to his left. The defensive breakdown was a rare mistake made by Seidenberg.
Chimera's goal tied the game at 2 while Marchand was seen licking some blood. That's what Marchand gets for diving earlier in the series.
Final 20 Minutes
Andrew Ference regained the lead for the Bruins.
Washington's Alexander Semin turned the puck over to Tyler Seguin and he was off to the attacking zone for a 3-on-2 rush.
Seguin centered the puck to Milan Lucic, but Holtby popped it out to a charging Ference, who drove the puck into the wide-open cage to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.
About three minutes later, the draw by Semin was made back to Alexander Ovechkin, who caught it with his skate, kicked it to his stick and five-holed it past Thomas to get the game tied again, this time at 3.
That sequence was a thing of beauty.
The final five minutes solved nothing.
In that five minutes, Thomas got some of that goal post love that Holtby got in Game 5 as Ovechkin's shot beat Thomas, but not the crossbar.
We were off to Extra Fun (otherwise known as overtime).
All games to this point have been decided by one goal.
If you had to look at the logic of the game, you would think Boston would be the next to score.
I guess logic prevailed.
With just more than three minutes of play, Backstrom committed the turnover to Krejci.
Krejci popped a pass to Lucic, who gained the zone and centered it to Seguin. Seguin skated up to Holtby, faked a shot by moving the stick and his shoulders. Holtby bought it and dropped flat to cover the opening, but he was too far out. It was a rare, but costly mistake for the young netminder.
Seguin waited the extra second or two before slipping the puck in the left side of the net to end the game and force a Game 7 back in Boston.
If there was any time to get your first playoff goal in the series, this was the most opportune time.
The goal was also Seguin's first playoff game winning goal.
Seguins seemed to have taken a humble page from his team mate and mentor, Patrice Bergeron.
Seguin's OT Winner
"I saw the goalie challenging, so I just tried to make a quick move and got lucky it went in," Seguin said. "This series I've had a lot of chances and opportunities and I haven't been finishing them off. It's just really nice to get that feeling of finding the back of the net."
Final score, 4-3 Bruins.
This is the first time in NHL history that a Game 7 is looming and all six previous games were decided by just one goal.
With the series all tied up, it is now a best-of-one affair. The winners will move to face their next opponent. The losers will play golf.
See ya in Game 7.
This is Cory Ducey saying, "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."
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