St.Louis, MO- (AP) Late Wednesday night in the third period of game four SSG officials were polishing up the Cup to ready it for the award ceremony that was likely to follow.
The St.Louis Blues were up 3 games to none on the Washington Capitals and had won 15 of 18 post season games, slowed only by the Minnesota Wild in a round 2 seven game series. They had a 2-1 lead with only 8 minutes left in the 3rd period and the crowd at the Verizon Center in Washington was growing silent as they seemed to be awaiting their fate and readying to watch the Blues raise the Cup for the first time in franchise history.
The never-say-die Capitals, who squeezed into the post-season on the last day, had other ideas. Shawn Matthias, Martin Marincin, and Justin Williams each scored goals in a six minute span to stun the Blues and extend the series.
Their reward, however, was a trip back to St.Louis for game five. Did the Caps have any magic left? Turns out that they did.This time down 3-1 half way through the game it looked once again like Washington was out of gas and once again Matthias and Williams were part of the heroics with a goal each to tie the game.
There is nothing like the tension of playing sudden death OT hockey with the possibility of elimination hanging on every opponents’ shot, but the Cinderella Capitals once again responded to the pressure and with 1:50 left in the first OT period Nicklas Backstrom scored his 9th goal of the playoffs, assisted by John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin to keep the unlikely post-season run alive.
Now all the pressure seems to be shifting to the Blues who have to go back to Washington to close out the series or face a tension-filled game 7 where the unthinkable will be hanging over their heads.
Either way, someone will be raising the silverware for the first time in their teams history this week. Kudos to the Capitals for making it interesting at the very least.
Who will come up big and be the hero tonight or Monday?? Center, Alexander Ovechkin leads all players with 34 points in the post-season and is tied with the Blues’ Jaden Shwartz with 11 goals. The leader in points for the Blues is Vladimir Tarasenko with 22.
Maybe the hero is an unknown 4th liner but one thing is for sure….with the Capitals involved it’s sure to be exciting.
Game 6 will be tonight at 8PM Eastern.