Nick Bonino wrapped up a remarkable series with a goal at 6 minutes and 32 seconds into overtime, for a final score of 4-2 that sees the Pittsburg Penguins through to the next round of the NHL playoffs, where they will face will face the Lightning (+150) as sports betting favorites (-175). That goal on front of goalie Braden Holtby meant that a 3-0 rally that allowed the Caps to force sudden death and surprised the raucous Consol Energy Center crowd was just not enough. And that’s another year that ends with Caps cap Alex Ovechkin wondering what it takes to break through. He finished the series with two goals and three assists.
The Caps had won the President’s trophy for the best record in the regular season, and while that might have made them online betting favorites going in, it meant little given that the Penguins were better – if ever so slightly – when it counted. It was only a year ago that a goal in overtime in game 7 versus the New York Rangers ended their season in the second round of the playoffs. That is why they’re not living up to their sports betting odds is so frustratingly familiar.
The Caps took some pride in the comeback. Brooks Orpik and the rest of the defense fell behind 3-0 to a Pittsburgh devastating blow that became a pair of goals. As manageable as 1-0 deficit was, it became a huge 3-0 hole. A power-play goal by T. J. Oshie – as productive throughout the postseason as ever – gave Washington a new lease on life. Justin Williams followed with his own unassisted tally in the beginning of the third, and the building suddenly stiffened. The sports betting odds of a Game 7 back in the DC on Thursday seemed to improve.
Then the Penguins came down with a bad case of the chokes. They committed three consecutive game delaying-penalties that were just criminal for their online betting chances. That gave the Caps an opportunity they could not miss. John Carlson smashed home a shot at 13:01 to tie the game. The crowd let out a collective groan. Pittsburgh was suddenly on the ropes. It was not helpful that Karl Alzner played just 5:16 on the ice. A worsening groin injury persistently has kept him off practices for weeks. He missed the last 10 minutes of the first period, and when he tried to return he just could not go. Washington had been reduced to five defenders and would remain that way for most of the game. To make a long story short, the Penguins snapped out of it and beat and eliminated the Caps.