DC sports teams and postseason success are like oil and water: never to mix under any circumstance. Yet, Tuesday night, Lars Eller broke through for the Capitals in double overtime, knocking in a pinballing puck past Sergei Bobrovsky for sudden victory in Game Three.
With a loss, the Capitals would have become the first team in NHL postseason history to lose the first three games of a series in overtime. Instead the Capitals are back in the series — down only two games to one — and will have an opportunity to play in front of their home fans again on Saturday.
After Tuesday night’s thrilling victory, Eller spoke to the press and explained how it felt to be the hero of such a pivotable game.
“It’s the best feeling,” Eller said. “Yeah. The best.
“I had a feeling it was going to be one of those (ugly overtime game-winning goals),” Eller continued. “It doesn’t make the win less sweet.”
When asked where the goal ranked in terms of his best career tallies, Eller smiled and said, “I’ll tell you when the season’s over.”
Eller’s goal is the 29th playoff overtime game-winning goal in franchise history. The team has played in 64 playoff games in its 44 years since joining the league in 1974 as an expansion team.
The goal also marked the fifth double overtime goal in Capitals history.
|4/10/85||NY Islanders||Alan Haworth||2:28||1||4-3|
|4/11/85||NY Islanders (2 OT)||Mike Gartner||21:23||2||2-1|
|4/5/90||@ New Jersey||Dino Ciccarelli||5:34||1||5-4|
|4/25/90||NY Rangers||Rod Langway||:34||4||4-3|
|4/27/90||@ NY Rangers||John Druce||6:48||5||2-1|
|4/11/91||@ NY Rangers||Dino Ciccarelli||6:44||5||5-4|
|4/26/98||@ Boston (2 OT)||Joe Juneau||26:31||3||3-2|
|5/3/98||@ Boston||Brian Bellows||15:24||6||3-2|
|5/28/98||@ Buffalo||Peter Bondra||9:37||3||4-3|
|6/4/98||@ Buffalo||Joe Juneau||6:24||6||3-2|
|4/18/01||@ Pittsburgh||Jeff Halpern||4:01||4||4-3|
|5/11/09||@ Pittsburgh||David Steckel||6:22||6||5-4|
|4/13/11||NY Rangers||Alexander Semin||18:24||1||2-1|
|4/20/11||@ NY Rangers (2 OT)||Jason Chimera||32:36||4||4-3|
|4/14/12||@ Boston (2 OT)||Nicklas Backstrom||22:56||2||2-1|
|4/25/12||@ Boston||Joel Ward||2:57||7||2-1|
|5/4/13||NY Rangers||Mike Green||8:00||2||1-0|
|5/10/13||NY Rangers||Mike Ribeiro||9:24||5||2-1|
|4/21/15||@ NY Islanders||Nicklas Backstrom||11:09||4||2-1|
|4/23/17||@ Toronto||Marcus Johansson||6:31||6||2-1|
|5/1/17||@ Pittsburgh||Kevin Shattenkirk||3:13||3||3-2|
|4/17/18||@ Columbus (2 OT)||Lars Eller||29:00||3||3-2|
Stats via the Capitals media guide
Eller’s double overtime goal was the first since Nicklas Backstrom scored against the Boston Bruins on April 14, 2012.
According to the Caps PR, Eller’s goal came nine minutes into the second overtime, marking the second-latest game-winning goal in franchise history (Jason Chimera: 12:36 minutes into the second overtime, April 20, 2011 vs. New York Rangers).
The Capitals improved to 16-20 in overtime games on the road and 3-1 over the last two years in the playoffs.
Caps 365 | After 5 periods of hockey Eller knocks home the ugly goal for Game 3 victory #StanleyCup #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/ADsa6MSay7
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 18, 2018
Full Coverage of Game Three
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