Steve Yzerman

Capitals beat Penguins, 2-1, in OT in Game 6, reach Eastern finals for first time since 1998

Capitals beat Penguins, 2-1, in OT in Game 6, reach Eastern finals for first time since 1998

A cathartic celebration 20 years in the making began with a poke of Evgeny Kuznetsov's stick. It built as the puck that Kuznetsov tapped away from Sidney Crosby made its way to Washington Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin.

It swelled as Ovechkin flipped it back to Kuznetsov, who at this point had split two Penguins and was streaking toward the Pittsburgh Penguins net. And it culminated jubilantly and unexpectedly in the corner moments later, with the puck in the net and Kuznetsov's teammates mobbing him after he ended two decades of frustration with a flick of the Russian's wrist.

The ghosts of past playoff failures, many of them at the hands of the Penguins, were gone....

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