BALTIMORE—The Washington Capitals will not win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
The Carolina Hurricanes made sure of that by winning Game 7 of their first-round Eastern Conference series in Washington on April 24. They handed the Capitals a stunning 4-3 loss in double overtime and won the series, four games to three.
Last year, en route to the Stanley Cup title, the Capitals got a number of breaks. They came from behind in all four series, played through injuries and got the bounces. That didn’t happen in this series.
Washington won the first two games before being outplayed and losing the next two down in Carolina. The Capitals crushed the Hurricanes in Game 5, 6-0, in D.C. before Carolina bounced back to take Game 6 at home. Then, in Game 7, they rebounded after Washington took leads of 2-0 and 3-1 to tie the game and force overtime.
The Hurricanes completely dominated the overtime periods. They outshot the Capitals 18-6 before Brock McGinn redirected a Justin Williams feed past goalie Braden Holtby 11:05 into the second overtime for a 4-3 win.
“They played a very aggressive game, and it’s not easy,” Washington coach Todd Reirden said to the media afterwards. “We didn’t expect it to be easy, and we’re certainly disappointed by the outcome.”
The Capitals were hurt by injuries, losing one of the best defensemen (Michal Kempny) late in the regular season because of quadriceps surgery and then losing T.J. Oshie (broken collarbone/clavicle) during the series. But Carolina had injury issues also, and the Capitals had bigger problems playing against the ferocious Hurricane defense, which hounded Washington all over the ice.
It was a mystery the Caps just couldn’t solve.
D.C. UNITED FALLS IN MINNESOTA
Minnesota United got a goal from Angelo Rodriguez in the 82nd minute and pulled out a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Sunday night.
D.C. United had won four straight on the road before this game, but appeared to take a 1-0 lead when former Maryland star Donovan Pines headed a rebound into the net.
But the goal was reviewed and teammate Frederic Brillant was ruled to have interfered with the goalie’s chance to get the ball, although he later told The Washington Post that wasn’t so.
“I don’t think it’s a foul,” Brillant said.
Rodriguez then scored in the second half and gave Minnesota the win. D.C. United plays next at home against Columbus on Saturday.
RAVENS GO FOR SPEED IN NFL DRAFT
The Ravens set their tone for the draft with their first pick. They traded back from 22 to 25 to take Marquise Brown of Oklahoma, a wide receiver they’re hoping will help in many ways. Brown’s got tons of speed, and the Ravens wanted plenty of that.
They didn’t pick again until the third round, when they selected DE/OLB Jaylon Ferguson of Louisiana Tech. Ferguson broke former Ravens’ linebacker Terrell Suggs’ record for Division I sacks and posted 45 of his own.
Baltimore badly needed an edge rusher, and it looked like the Ravens got one.
Also in Round 3, the Ravens picked Notre Dame wide receiver Miles Boykin. He didn’t have numbers as flashy as Brown’s, but he is bigger and scored touchdowns in six straight games last season.
Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill came next. He can fly, running 4.4 in the 40, and now the Ravens are extremely deep at running back, having already signed free-agent Mark Ingram to go with Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon.
Then came guard Ben Powers (Oklahoma) and USC cornerback Iman Marshall. All three of these picks (including Hill) came in the fourth round as Baltimore stockpiled picks later on.
Round 5 brought defensive tackle Daylon Mack from Texas A&M. He’ll give them some more talent and depth on the line, an area they need it. Then came Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley in Round 6. Now, the Ravens can use him in a variety of roles because he’s so athletic fast.