Three Stanley Cup playoff games were decided in the most dramatic of fashions this weekend:
Sudden death overtime.
On Saturday, the Washington Capitals gave the Verizon Center faithful plenty to cheer about as they took a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers thanks to Mike Green’s OT tally.
The sharp-shooting blueliner capitalized on a powerplay after New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh flipped the puck over the glass, earning himself a delay of game minor.
“I think the whole game was patience — whoever was going to make the mistake first,” Green told the Washington Post. “Just a lucky one tonight. What an effort before we got that power play by the guys that were on the ice, pressuring their D.
“They had no choice but to try to go off the glass and they made a bad play.”
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a page out of Washington’s notebook by winning their game against the Islanders with a powerplay goal in OT as well.
Chris Kunitz converted a Sidney Crosby pass for the game-winning goal, after Crosby earned Pittsburgh a man advantage by drawing a holding call from Isles defenseman Brian Strait.
“I probably think the best set-up he had was drawing the penalty,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s kind of typical, what Sidney Crosby can do. He’s a tough guy, a power forward, and he draws the penalty by playing that way — playing down low and going to the net.
“That sets up, obviously, the game-winning goal on the power play.”
Kunitz’s goal was the only dramatic OT winner on Sunday.
In the second game of a national doubleheader on NBC, Minnesota got back into its series with Chicago thanks to an extra session winner from rookie Jason Zucker, giving the Wild at 3-2 win in front of a frenzied Xcel Energy crowd.
The goal was the culmination of a strong series from Zucker, who almost won Game 1 when his shot in overtime rang off the crossbar.
“You’ve got to work for everything,” Zucker said. “I just tried keeping the puck on net and tried keeping at it, and this one happened to go in for me.”