Photo credit: @matt71royer

We learned a week ago that Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee can get quite animated during games. During the third period of Game Seven, McPhee’s emotions boiled over late while the Caps power play sputtered.

The Capitals trailed from the onset, but they suffered what seemed to be a death blow when Michael Del Zotto rifled a shot past Braden Holtby to put the Rangers up 2-0 with 9:55 to go in the final frame. A goal from Roman Hamrilk gave the team life just 38 seconds later, and then the Capitals got a gift: Ruslan Fedotenko‘s delay-of-game penalty.

But instead of converting the man advantage, the Caps squandered it in an embarrassing fashion, setting up shorthanded chances for the Rangers and spending most of their time stuck in their own zone. The low point was when one of the Caps attempted a dangerous no-look pass that nearly ended up in their own net.

CBC caught McPhee in the rafters watching the mess. He was — uh — unhappy.

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Caps Fans Are Ready for Game Seven

Samuel Miller’s pump-up video for Game Seven. Goosebumps!

Tonight, the Washington Capitals will try to do what they so awesomely did to Boston 17 days ago: knock off a higher-seed in their own barn. If the Caps manage to beat the Rangers in Game Seven, they’ll advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 14 years. And just like a few weeks ago, Caps fans are doing whatever they can to send up their good karma to the Big Apple.

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

When Dale Hunter was first hired as Caps head coach, old-time fans of the team assumed #32 would bring his fiery nature behind the bench. Instead, Hunter has been cool, calm, and collected, rarely losing his composure or seeming visibly upset.

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Photo credit: Elsa

Here’s how the Caps celebrated Joel Ward’s series-ending overtime goal. Follow us past the jump for a massive GIF.

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Video: Joel Ward Scores Game Seven Overtime Goal

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

Joel Ward was a playoff hero for Nashville last year, leading the league in postseason goals at one point in the first round and ending with better than a point per game.

That grit and clutch goal-scoring was why General Manager George McPhee outbid a number of other teams to sign Ward in the summer to an expensive 4-year, $12 million contract.

In the regular season, however, things didn’t go as planned. Ward was benched one game for missing a meeting, scratched several games for poor play, and managed to tally just six goals. It was the worst offensive season of his career– though he spent most of it assigned as a fourth liner.

But Joel Ward’s play in the regular season isn’t what got him glory in Nashville. And it’s not what just put him in Capitals’ record books forever.

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Game 7: It’s On

You have our permission to share or steal this image. By which we mean, please do it.

The Washington Capitals are 2-7 all-time in Game Sevens. They’re 0-1 all-time in Game Sevens on the road, 1-2 all-time in Game Seven OT, and none of that matters at all, because all we need them to be is 1-0 in Game Sevens on April 25, 2012, versus the Boston Bruins.

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Your inspirational video of the day via YouTube user shilo0712.

Never forget. (via @daveizzle)

350 days ago the Capitals were disgracefully Halak’d from the playoffs, suffering their second consecutive heart-breaking game 7 defeat in front of their home fans. Do you remember how bad that was? After a regular season in which the Caps set franchise records for standings points (121), wins (54), and consecutive victories (14), we all sat dumbfounded in our chairs as players like Mike Cammalleri celebrated on our home ice like he had slayed Goliath. But did the Habs really do something special? Or did the Capitals play arrogantly, refusing both to elevate their game and do the little things to achieve playoff victory?

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Tonight if you were like us, you sat in front of your TV, ate smoked salmon with a fork and laughed at Pittsburgh’s unlikely demise to the Habs. Sure, it totally sucked when the Capitals lost in the first round to this rag-tag group of “team players” from North of the Border. But after seeing Sid the Kid fail the ultimate test tonight (boarding penalty 10 seconds in which led to Habs first goal of the game, 0 points, -2), maybe – just maybe – this talk that Sidney Crosby is by far and away the best player in the game can die down a bit.

Really, SI?

Moving forward, please consider Alex Ovechkin’s Game 7 performance against the Canadiens in comparison: 10 shots, 1 assist and a clutch GTG that was uhhh questionably disallowed.

Sometimes another man’s pain is another man’s pleasure. And tonight that pain felt by Pens fans was the perfect tonic for this man’s broken heart.

This Will NOT Be the Lasting Image Of My Summer Vacation

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The Habs have the Capitals on the ropes after 40 minutes of play. Will the best third period team in the NHL comeback one more time?

10PM Update: No.