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NHL PLAYOFFS

Penguins' Victory Is Extra Special One

April 24, 2001|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Finally, overtime was kind to the Penguins.

Martin Straka stole the puck from Sergei Gonchar to score at 13:04 of overtime and Pittsburgh held off two Washington comebacks for a series-ending 4-3 victory in Game 6 on Monday night.

The Penguins had lost five of their last six playoff overtime games, including the memorable five-overtime Game 4 against Philadelphia last season that effectively decided that series.

Not without a big sigh of relief by the Penguins, though.

With the Penguins dominating play in overtime in a desperate attempt to avoid a Game 7 on visiting ice, Straka grabbed the puck off Gonchar in the Capital zone and beat Olaf Kolzig inside the near post for his first goal of the series.

"Everybody was saying on the bench he was going down on every shot, so I went up high," Straka said. "I tried to beat him low on a breakaway in Game 3 and he stopped it. This has to be the biggest goal I've ever scored."

And one of the biggest Kolzig has given up.

"I didn't have any problems with breakaways the whole series," he said. "I figured I could stop that one. It just hit the shaft of my stick. I don't where it ended up going in the net, I thought I made the save after it hit my stick."

After they rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, the Capitals seemed convinced they would be playing a Game 7 at home Tuesday.

"Even when we were down 2-0, I never thought we weren't going to win it," Steve Konowalchuk said. "It would have been a very interesting Game 7. I don't think they were looking forward to that."

Penguins 4, Capitals 3 (OT)

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