SPORTS

NHL: 4 stories from Monday night

04/28/2015 12:21 EDT | Updated 08/01/2015 08:59 EDT
The Washington Capitals advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, while the Tampa Bay Lightning charged their way into a Game 7 home tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Here are four stories from Monday night:

Capitals banish Islanders

It wasn't easy but the Capitals finally put away the Islanders with a 2-1 victory. Washington will now face the the New York Rangers in the second round.

It was all tied up in the third period until youngster Caps centre Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the go-ahead goal with less than eight minutes to go.

Kuznetsov showed incredible speed, patience and maturity beyond his years, waiting for just the right moment to take the shot and give his team the goal it needed to move on. 

Here's a fan's perspective of Kuznetsov's celebration.

The Islanders didn't give Washington goalie Braden Holtby much of a challenge, recording only 11 shots on net.

It was the first Game 7 of this year's playoffs.

Orpik hops off the ice

Late in the game, Washington defenceman Brooks Orpik was left without a leg to stand on as he lost his skate blade. It couldn't have happened at a worse time as the Islanders were buzzing in the Capitals' end. Orpik showed commitment, staying out in front of his net until the pressure eased.

Teammate and defensive linemate John Carlson came to Orpik's assistance, helping him off the ice.

Lightning strikes again

The Lightning played a near flawless game, outplaying the Red Wings to force a Game 7 with a 5-2 win.

Tampa Bay was on the ropes, one loss away from elimination coming into the game, but thanks to some impressive offense from Tyler Johnson, the team lives to play another day. Johnson scored two goals, helping the Lightning jump out to a 3-0 lead by the second period.

Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek demonstrated a little of his recent magic, using only his stick to rob the Lightning's Brian Boyle of a sure goal. This could be the save of the year.

Kronwall drops huge hit

With just over a minute to go in the second period, the Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall laid out Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov with a body check that left the Lightning forward shook. Kucherov was able to stay in the game.

Kronwall laid out Kucherov with a big hit that on replay showed forearm-to-head contact. The NHL's department of player safety will likely review the play and Kronwall could face a suspension before Game 7.

Kronwall didn't receive a penalty for the hit.

"I thought it was a clean hit at the time," Kronwall said after the game. 

Kucherov took the play in stride.

"It's a hit," Kucherov said. "I'm not going to cry now. It's part of the game. That's why we play here."

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