NHL Playoffs 2012: Bruins Top Caps in Overtime to Force Game 7

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIApril 23, 2012

The Bruins will head back home to try to finish off the Capitals in Game 7 at the TD Garden.
The Bruins will head back home to try to finish off the Capitals in Game 7 at the TD Garden.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As the Washington Capitals took the ice at the sold-out Verizon Center for Game 6 of the NHL playoffs on Sunday afternoon, they had but one thing on their minds: take care of business at home.

As the Boston Bruins took the ice in the midst of the sea of red, they had but one thing on their minds: figure out the rookie phenomenon Braden Holtby and get back to Beantown for Game 7.

The fans were raucous and the emotions were as high as ever. The Red Wings, Sharks and Penguins had already been eliminated, and the Bruins were not quite ready to join that list.

The first five games of the series had all been decided by one goal. Game 6 wouldn't be any different.

Holtby had been the talk of the series with his phenomenal, timely saves. Tim Thomas was being criticized for playing too aggressively and giving up juicy rebounds.

When the series had started, hardly anybody gave the Caps a chance to take down the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Now, they were one game away from silencing all of the critics.

Holtby had stymied the Bruins for the majority of the series, but Boston was not in the mood to see that trend continue. 

Rich Peverley scored on a tip-in during the early stages of the opening period and the early momentum was in Boston's favor.

But as the game progressed, the Bruins had a terrible time holding on to the lead as they relinquished three leads in the contest.

Washington's rookie goaltender gave up four goals on 31 shots in Game 6.
Washington's rookie goaltender gave up four goals on 31 shots in Game 6.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Mike Green's laser slap shot got past Thomas a few minutes later to tie the game up 1-1. With less than four minutes left in the first, David Krejci's power play goal gave the Bruins the 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

Boston had to have felt good getting the better of Holtby and for finally taking advantage of the power play. The Bruins had struggled mightily in the first round as they did the entire postseason last year.

Boston's hopes were a bit shaky after Washington's Jason Chimera put in the equalizer with 42 seconds left in the second period.

Both teams exchanged goals in the third and it was only fitting that the game wound up in overtime.

After the third period concluded, the Obama administration could hear the rowdiness from the Verizon Center.

After all, the Capitals were one goal away from pulling off the unthinkable.

However, Tyler Seguin seemed to care less about the reaction in the nation's capitol. Despite his solid regular season numbers in which he accumulated 67 points, Seguin, along with the rest of the Bruins' forwards, were, the NHL's Charlie Chaplin said, "silent."

Seguin's toe drag had Holtby completely baffled and as the puck slid past the desperate goaltender the Bruins' bench celebrated tremendously as the Verizon Center began to empty out.

Now Game 7 awaits.

This has been one of the most colorful and interesting series of the postseason, especially when it comes to goaltending. It will be either the 38 year-old Vezina Trophy-winning Thomas or the 22 year-old rookie sensation Holtby advancing to the second round.

This is what hockey is all about.