Ovechkin, Caps end 20-year conference finals drought

The Stanley Cup Playoffs’ conference finals are nearly set after the Washington Capitals knocked off defending champion Pittsburgh on Monday night to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 20 years.

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal gave the Capitals a 2-1 win over the Penguins on the road.

The game’s other two goals both came in the second period, with Alex Chiasson opening up the scoring for the Capitals at the 2:13 mark before Kris Letang tied it up late in the period.

The season is now over for the two-time defending champion Penguins while Alex Ovechkin and Washington will next face the Tampa Bay Lightning for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.

The victory must have been extra sweet for Ovechkin, who had played 109 playoff games in his career without advancing past the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Capitals star player assisted on Kuznetsov’s goal and has 15 points in 12 games this playoffs. He also helped his team solve the Penguins after Pittsburgh ended their season the past two seasons in the conference semifinals.

The Western Conference finals matchup is not set just yet after the Nashville Predators blanked the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 on Monday to extend their semifinal series to a Game 7 on Thursday in Nashville.

The winner of that series will take on the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who beat the San Jose Sharks on Sunday to reach the Western Conference finals in their first season.