NHL Playoffs 2012: Capitals Shock Bruins in Game 7

Steven Slivka@@StevenSlivkaCorrespondent IIIApril 25, 2012

Washington has shocked the hockey world by taking out the defending champs.
Washington has shocked the hockey world by taking out the defending champs.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The seventh-seeded Washington Capitals, the team that struggled mightily throughout the year, fired their head coach mid-season, and headed into the playoffs with a rookie goaltender have knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champions.

They were the David to Boston's Goliath.

In the first Game 7 of the 2012 postseason, Washington came into TD Garden in Boston and silenced the sellout crowd after Joel Ward sealed the deal off of a Tim Thomas rebound three minutes into overtime.

It was the first time in NHL history a series had all seven games decided by one goal, four of which went into overtime.

Just as it had been all series long, goaltending was the most important aspect of the game.

Thomas and Braden Holtby matched each other save for save, with both goaltenders seeing a steady amount of work. Both netminders played just like any netminder should in a Game 7.

This time, the 22-year-old rookie was the one who came out on top.

After what was nothing short of a disappointing postseason for the defending Stanley Cup champions, all they can do now is watch the rest of the playoffs from cold and rainy Boston while the underdog Capitals keep their championship hopes alive.

Washington has fared horribly in the postseason before as the favorite, but as the underdog that was given so little respect heading into their first-round matchup they came through when it mattered most.

With an impressive rookie goalie between the pipes and a city desperate for postseason success, this could be the year the Capitals finally make themselves a threat when it matters most.

Thomas' mustache was looking sweet, but the Capitals momentum is looking sweeter.