The Washington Capitals are headed to the second round, and the defending champion Boston Bruins are headed home for the summer. Joel Ward's game-winning goal at the 2:57 mark of overtime pushed his team past the B's 2-1 in Game 7.
Did Mike Knuble interfere with Tim Thomas on the goal? He definitely bumped into the Bruins goaltender, but it's tough to say whether he impeded Thomas at all. Knuble's rebound was picked up by Ward, who just threw it on net and beat Thomas at the near post. It wasn't all that pretty, but it doesn't matter one bit to the Caps.
Washington certainly overcame plenty of adversity in the series and in the final game to earn the victory. They killed off three Boston power plays, including one in the final two minutes of regulation time, and Braden Holtby turned aside 31 shots in the game in leading his club to victory yet again. Then, in the opening minute of overtime, they escaped a great Boston chance when Dennis Seidenberg whiffed at an open net.
All in all, it was a bounce that decided the series. With the way it played out defensively through seven games, and with all seven decided by just one goal, we had a feeling that would be the case. Now, can Holtby keep up the heroics in the second round? That's the question for the Caps as they prepare for the Rangers, Flyers or Devils.
We have full coverage of Game 7 between the Capitals and Bruins in our StoryStream. For full coverage from the Boston perspective, check in with SB Nation Boston and Bruins blog Stanley Cup of Chowder. For full coverage from the Washington perspective, check in with SB Nation DC and Capitals blog Japers' Rink.