ARLINGTON Sam Gagner Jersey
, Va. (AP) The smiling side of a handshake line at the end of the second round was a brand-new experience for Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz.Ovechkin received a message of good luck and a pat on the chest from Sidney Crosby, while Trotz got to enjoy a happy moment with longtime coaching friend Jacques Martin. Ovechkin acknowledged he’d been in that position a lot of times – though never as the one moving on to the third round.Until now.The Washington Capitals reaching the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 1998 is perhaps most special to the superstar captain and his coach who had never made it out of the second round before. No coach in NHL history had been behind the bench for more games than Trotz and no active player had been in as many playoff games as Ovechkin without reaching the conference finals.”There is a kinship there, there’s no question,” Trotz said. ”I’ve been at this for a while and it’s so hard to move forward sometimes. It’s always thrown in your face everywhere your turn. I know it’s thrown in Ovi’s face everywhere he turns, and he’s a great player in this league. … I knew the frustration because you’re so close and you just can’t get it, and you just got to stay with it.”After 51 playoff games together, Ovechkin and Trotz will take part in their first East final starting Friday night in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Now that they’ve gotten over a hump that defined their respective careers, Ovechkin, Trotz and the Capitals are in unfamiliar territory.”It’s something new for us and cool,” Ovechkin said Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Washington eliminated the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. ”Right now it’s just satisfaction we beat the Stanley Cup champions finally and we move forward and now we’re going to play against a very good team Womens Devante Smith-Pelly Jersey
, against very good goaltending and solid players over there.”The Atlantic Division-champion Lightning present a formidable challenge, but the Capitals had to overcome something altogether different after losing in the first or second round in all nine playoff appearances that have come during the Ovechkin era dating to 2008. Beating the rival Penguins in overtime in a Game 6 on the road made the breakthrough even more emotional.”We should be proud of that,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”It’s a big achievement. But I think we’ve got to be greedy. We’ve got to want more because this is a heck of a run. I don’t know if there is a group out there that knows how hard it is to get to this point.”The Capitals are at this point with Ovechkin on top of his game with eight goals and seven assists, his best playoff output since 2009. And they’re here in large part because of Trotz, a well-respected, 19-year NHL coach who does not have a contract for next season.”I had a summer which was very enlightening to me, and I just look at everything way differently than I ever have,” Trotz said. ”I just recognized that I can only control what I can control, and the other stuff I can’t.”Trotz can’t control upper-body injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky or a three-game suspension handed out to winger Tom Wilson, only the decisions he makes in replacing them. So far, Trotz has pushed the right buttons http://www.officialcanucks.com/authentic-adidas-sven-baertschi-jersey
, like putting Braden Holtby back in net in Game 2 of the first round and promoting Jakub Vrana to the top line in Game 5 against Pittsburgh.His players know Trotz is in control as he and the Capitals advance further into the spring than they have in 20 years.”He wants to win a Cup,” forward Chandler Stephenson said. ”He doesn’t want to make it past the second round. It’s obviously a little accomplishment, a little confidence-boost. But we’re not done yet. We’re only halfway.”—AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.— MONTREAL (AP) — Jack Campbell and the Los Angeles Kings spoiled the Montreal Canadiens‘ home opener.Campbell made 40 saves for his first career shutout and the Kings won 3-0 on Thursday night.Campbell made his eighth career NHL start, getting into action with starter Jonathan Quick day-to-day after sustaining a lower-body injury in practice Sunday.“They had 40 (shots) but we did a heck of a job all night,” Campbell said. “They have some real good skill and we limited their interior offensive chances. Pretty cool, opening night, and the boys just played great.”Jeff Carter had a goal and assist, and Adrian Kempe and Michael Armadio also scored.“We had a lot of possession but we’re not creating high-end chances,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. “We’re too stagnant right now. The puck needs to move quicker. We all understand that, we’re just not executing that right now. We didn’t step up.”Carey Price stopped 26 shots for the Canadiens.Montreal honored the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning team in a pregame ceremony. Several players were in attendance, such as Vincent Damphousse Alex Tuch Jersey Kids
, Guy Carbonneau and Patrice Brisebois. General manager Serge Savard and coach Jacques Demers got the loudest ovations. The ’93 Habs — the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup — beat Wayne Gretzky and the Kings in five games in the final.After furious pressure by the Canadiens to start the game, Kempe scored against the run of play on L.A.’s first shot. The 22-year-old first-round draft pick opted to shoot on a 2-on-1, beating Price blocker side at 3:36. Armadio made it 2-0 at 11:31 on a one-timer from the slot. The goal was set up behind the net by Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who recorded his first NHL point.Carter scored at 9:04 of the third period on a no-look slapper.It looked as though Andrew Shaw had spoiled Campbell’s shutout bid midway through the third, but the Kings challenged the goal and it was overturned for goaltender interference.“We were throwing pucks on net, but weren’t really getting any second chances,” said Canadiens coach Claude Julien. “Their defensemen did a good job of boxing us out or clearing the rebounds. Could we have done a better job? Absolutely. Because we wouldn’t be sitting here with a 3-0 loss.”Notes: Montreal defenseman Shea Weber skated Thursday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery this summer. He’s not expected to return before December. … Alec Martinez played his 500th NHL game, all with the Kings.UP NEXTKings: At Ottawa on Saturday night.Canadiens: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.