NHL: Capitals complete comeback
By Howard Fendrich
WASHINGTON ó Thanks to sage, old Sergei Fedorov and a kid goalie with more career starts in the NHL postseason than the regular season, the Washington Capitals are headed to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
And they didn’t even need a star turn from Alex Ovechkin to complete their monumental comeback.
Fedorov beat Henrik Lundqvist with 4:59 left in the third period, rookie Simeon Varlamov was good in the net when he had to be and the Capitals edged the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal Tuesday night.
Washington is the 21st team in NHL history to win a series after trailing 3-1.
“Let’s face it: Realistically, we should have won the first six games,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said.
It’s Washington’s first series victory since the 1997-98 season, when it reached the Stanley Cup finals. A year ago, the Capitals trailed 3-1 in the first round and also forced a Game 7 at home ó only to lose to Philadelphia in overtime.
“We have to try to keep our emotions,” Ovechkin said, “and get ready for the next round.”
New York’s Nik Antropov and Washington’s Alexander Semin traded first-period goals.
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