The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs came to a close on Wednesday night, but not without yet another upset.
After trailing the Capitals in the series 3-2, the Hurricanes won the final two games of the series, including a comeback Game 7 win in double-overtime on the road. Carolina's win in the finale made them the first road team to get a win in the series.
As a result, the Canes are moving on while Alex Ovechkin and the reigning champion Capitals are out. There will be no repeat.
NHL games for Wednesday, April 24
- Game 7: FINAL - Hurricanes 4, Capitals 3 (2OT) (CAR wins series 4-3) | Box score
Carolina surges on
Holy wow! The Carolina Hurricanes have won in double-overtime of a Game 7, successfully knocking out the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. The Canes kept pushing in both of the overtime periods and Braden Holtby kept the Caps in it for as long as he could, but eventually Brock McGinn was able to deflect a puck from Justin Williams -- aka Mr. Game 7 -- into the Capitals' net. As a result, it's Carolina moving on to face the Islanders in round two.
The Hurricanes' victory makes it four out of four Wild Card teams advancing past the first round. Conversely, all of this year's division winners are done after round one. What a wild start to the playoffs.
Canes tie it in third, force OT
The Hurricanes showed persistence in the third period and were able to tie the game on the strength of a goal from Jordan Staal, who beat an off-his-angle Braden Holtby to pull even at 3-3.
That score held for the duration of the third period despite a pretty wild finish to regulation. That means we're closing out the first round of the playoffs with an overtime Game 7, because what other finish would be appropriate for this insane opening round?
Carolina makes it interesting
The Hurricanes put up more of a fight in period two and they were able to get on the board. Sebastian Aho got the tally while shorthanded, but Braden Holtby sure helped out. Check out the courteous rebound from Holtby.
The Capitals answered shortly after when Evgeny Kuznetsov finally scored his first goal of the playoffs. Of course, he brought the bird too.
But the Canes refused to go away and Tuevo Teravainen cut the two-goal lead in half once again at the end of the period.
Home ice stays hot
The home team has won every game in this series, and the Capitals got off to a quick start in every one of their games in Washington. That stayed true on Wednesday night when the Caps jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to some great plays from a few of their bigger players.
Andre Burakovsky got the party just a few minutes into the game when he brought his best shift of the playoffs. After delivering a hit on the forecheck, he stripped Brett Pesce and then dangled around Trevor van Riemsdyk (full starfish) before sniping on Petr Mrazek. It was a beauty.
Then, Alex Ovechkin began his revenge tour after getting kicked out of Game 6. Ovi had a ruthless sequence in which he turned Dougie Hamilton inside-out, then toe-dragged around Jacob Slavin before setting up Tom Wilson on the doorstep.
Those couple of highlights were part of a fantastic first period for the Capitals, who took the two-goal lead into first intermission.