Thom Loverro: Game 7 hasn't been kind to Capitals

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Jason Chimera seemed to be enjoying the whole Washington Capitals playoff experience, thank you -- even after their 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center set up a seventh and deciding game in Boston on Wednesday.

"It's been a great series," said Chimera, whose goal Sunday tied the game at 2-2 in the second period. "It's fun playing hockey out there.

"There's no better game than Game 7 in the National Hockey League," he said. "It's going to be a fun game."

Chimera has been here for about two minutes -- actually 21?2 years -- so you'll have to excuse him for not having the same perspective of Game 7 as Caps fans.

The Caps are 2-7 in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup playoffs -- and the only one they played on the road they lost 3-0 to Pittsburgh in 1995.

There have been a lot of better games than Game 7s for Caps fans. Game 6 hasn't been too bad -- a 10-11 record after Sunday -- the franchise's second-best mark in its playoff history. The Caps won the Eastern Conference finals in 1998 in six games against Buffalo.

Game 6 on Sunday certainly had the ingredients of a fun game for the raucous Caps fans at Verizon Center. Washington scored three times to tie the game, including the goal by Alex Ovechkin with about five minutes left in the third period that sent the game to overtime.

After Ovechkin's struggles much of the game -- and being invisible and even off the ice for large chunks of time in this series -- the goal had a breakthrough feel to it. There he was, paired with his partner in promise and potential, Nicklas Backstrom, delivering a shot that seemed like a knockout blow to Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.

But in the overtime, Boston's David Krejci intercepted a pass by Backstrom. The puck wound up on the stick of Tyler Seguin, who held back his shot long enough to fool an outstretched Braden Holtby and score the game winner at 3:17 of the extra session.

At one point in the second period, Ovechkin -- not long after a lousy shot attempt on Thomas and a four-minute penalty for high sticking -- went over to the Caps' bench, sat down and kicked the boards in front of him three times, hard enough that you could hear it throughout the arena.

Whatever it accomplished, Ovechkin was energetic and focused afterward.

He might want to take a few swift kicks to the Caps' history in Game 7s before Wednesday.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.

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Thom Loverro

Sports columnist
The Washington Examiner