Carolina Hurricanes eliminate Washington Capitals | News Coverage from USA

Carolina Hurricanes eliminate Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON —  A “bunch of jerks” are headed to the second round. 

The Carolina Hurricanes — a young team tagged with that moniker by Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry for their post-game celebrations — overcame a two-goal deficits twice to dispatch the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals as Brock McGinn scored the decisive goal in a 4-3 double-overtime victory in Game 7 on Wednesday. 

McGinn redirected a pass from Justin Williams in midway through the second OT, a volley that came as he entered the crease. 

Jordan Staal tied the game three minutes into the third period on a seemingly manageable shot that buzzed past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and into the net to make it a 3-3 game where it remained as regulation ended. 

The Hurricanes will face the New York Islanders in the second round as they extended their first playoff appearance since 2009 in dramatic fashion. The Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first-round series.

The red-clad crowd at Capital One Arena fell silent in the minutes after Staal’s equalizer, minus when T.J. Oshie was flashed on the screens here. His right arm in a sling after he broke his right collarbone earlier in the series, the “Oshie” chants distracted the Capitals faithful from the potential of another Game 7 letdown. 

The Capitals entered the contest with a 4-7 record in Game 7s since the Alexander Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstron tandem made their playoff debut in 2008. 

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The Capitals were powered early in Game 7 by a couple players that had largely been non-factors in the series: Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov. 

Burakovsky scored his first career playoff goal two minutes into regulation as he beat Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek after a turnover. The Caps made it a 2-0 lead as Tom Wilson scored this third goal of the series 6:23 into the first period. Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov assisted on the even-strength goal. 

As the Hurricanes did after falling down 2-0 in the series, the Hurricanes weren’t done. 

Sebastian Aho scored a shorthanded goal midway through the second period off a rebound allowed by Captials goalie Braden Holtby. After Caps made it a two-goal game again when Kuznetsov — the Capitals leading scorer in last year’s playoffs — scored his first goal of the series, Teuvo Teravainen counted with a tally late in the second to make it a 3-2 Capitals lead after two periods. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.


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