Lord Stanley's Weekend: Caps Survive, Bridesmaids on Top

Published on 9-May-2016 by Chips 10

NHL    NHL Daily Update

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Lord Stanley's Weekend: Caps Survive, Bridesmaids on Top

If there was a handshake Saturday night in Washington DC, Alex Ovechkin would've failed to make the Eastern Conference finals again.

Dude's never advanced past the second round.

The Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals, who had that race locked up in February, were facing a 3-1 deficit to the surging Penguins, but defeated them on home ice, 3-1, to stay alive.

Ovechkin and TJ Oshie each had a goal and assist in the win, but it was goalie Braden Holtby who was the key, with 30 saves:

The Caps who now must win in Pittsburgh tomorrow night to keep their season going.

Few believed Tampa Bay would be in the conference finals again this season because of major injuries to stars Steven Stamkos and Anton Strålman, but the gritty Lightning disposed of New York's Islanders to close out the series in five games:

The 'Ning could be getting both stars back , which would pose additional problems for either Pittsburgh or Washington.

The West has been a mess since the two teams that won five of the last six cups -- Chicago and Los Angeles -- were eliminated in the first round.

Perennial playoff bridesmaids St Louis and San José can now each clinch a spot in the conference finals with wins tonight.

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After a thrilling Game 7 victory over the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks that could've been the template for playoff excitement, they are a home game away from defeating top-seeded Dallas after shooting the Stars, 4-1:

The Sharks now have two chances to eliminate Nashville.

After falling after three overtimes in Game 4, San José was led by two goals from Joe Pavelski and easily took Game 5 with a 5-1 blowout.

Being real, not many would've picked a Sharks-Blue Western final, much less a Penguins-Lightning Eastern pairing.

Neither is a Leicester City level of upset, but a surprise nonetheless.