Capitals paid physical price to advance

Capitals paid physical price to advance
April 26, 2012, 4:34 pm
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News and notes as the Capitals enjoy a well-deserved day off following Wednesday nights emotional 2-1 overtime victory in Boston:

Paying the price: The seventh-seeded Capitals prevailed over the second-seeded Bruins in a series few gave them a chance to win by blocking a league-high 139 shots and absorbing a league-high 276 hits.

You win big games like this because of sacrifice, Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. And they did throughout the whole series.

Making history: The Capitals Game 7 victory was their first ever on the road and their first since the opening round of 2009 against the Rangers when Sergei Fedorov scored the game-winner. They are now 3-7 all-time in Game 7s.

Familiar territory: The Caps have reached the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year and for the third time in four years. But they have not been to the conference finals since the arrival of Alex Ovechkin in the 2005-06 season.

Oddity: The Capitals were outshot 32-27 in the victory. The team that was outshot won the final six games of the series.

Quote of the night: If I got rattled we probably wouldnt be here right now. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who carries a 2.00 GAA and .940 save percentage into the second round.

Grunt work: Matt Hendricks goal in the first period of Game 7 was his first career playoff goal in 20 games. His last playoff goal of any kind came in the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs with the Hershey Bears.

Wards playoff goal was his first as a Capital. He had seven goals in 12 playoff games with Nashville last season. Ward became just the second player in Caps history to score an overtime game-winner in a Game 7. Hunter tallied a goal 5:57 into the first overtime in Game 7 of the 1988 Patrick Division semifinals to eliminate the Philadelphia Flyers.

You win series with them, Hunter said of his third- and fourth-line forwards. The Ovechkins and the Backstroms, theyre playing against Charas and theyre going to get their points and goals, But you need the foot soldiers. Tonight, throughout the whole series, they came through big time. The sacrifices they make and the blocked shots, doing what coaches tell them to do. Its no fun, but its fun when you win.