Evgeny Kuznetsov’s breakway goal 5:27 into overtime gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 on Monday night Anders Bjork Jersey , and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 20 years.
Kuznetsov took a lead pass from Alexander Ovechkin and tucked the puck by Matt Murray to end Pittsburgh’s two-year reign as Stanley Cup champions and propel the Capitals into the NHL’s final four for just the third time in franchise history.
Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots for the Capitals, who will face Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals. Alex Chiasson scored his first playoff goal in four years during a taut, tight contest through regulation.
Kris Letang scored for the Penguins and Murray finished with 28 saves but couldn’t close his legs fast enough to stop Kuznetsov’s forehand flick from in close as Pittsburgh’s bid at becoming the first team in 35 years to win three consecutive Cups came to an abrupt end.
PREDATORS 4, JETS 0
WINNIPEG Jaylon Smith Jersey , Manitoba (AP) – Filip Forsberg had two goals and an assist, Pekka Rinne stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs, and Nashville forced a decisive Game 7 in its Western Conference semifinal series with Winnipeg.
Game 7 is Thursday at Nashville, Tennessee, with the winner advancing to face the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final.
This back-and-forth series has yet to see a team win consecutive games.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Carlos Hyde; Ss Eric Reid and Antone Exum, DE Aaron Lynch; DLs Chris Jones Womens Deryk Engelland Jersey , Tank Carradine and Leger Douzable; LB Brock Coyle; G Brandon Fusco; CBs Leon Hall, Dontae Johnson, and Asa Jackson; WR Louis Murphy; TE Logan Paulsen; C Tim Barnes.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: 49ers answered biggest question last month when they signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to $137.5 million contract after he led them to five straight wins following midseason trade with New England. Then San Francisco got a head start on free agency by signing former nemesis Richard Sherman to upgrade at cornerback following his release from Seattle. The task this spring will be to get Garoppolo help and improve the pass rush on defense. San Francisco could use big target at either receiver or tight end to help in red zone, as well as improvement on interior of offensive line. Biggest question on offense comes at running back where San Francisco must decide whether to try to re-sign Hyde or look for someone else as lead back.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $64 million.