Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/25/12

BOSTON – Once again, there will be no repeat winner of the Stanley Cup.

The seventh-seeded Washington Capitals, getting a goal from Joel Ward 2:57 into overtime, knocked the defending-champion Bruins from the playoffs with a 2-1 Game 7 victory Wednesday night.

The Red Wings are the last team to repeat, doing it in 1998.

Ex-Bruin Mike Knuble picked off a slap into the Washington zone by Boston’s Benoit Pouliot and went off with Ward on a 2-on-1. Tim Thomas, last year’s Conn Smythe winner as the playoff MVP, stopped Knuble’s shot but Ward swept in for the rebound for his first goal of these playoffs, the 10th of his NHL career.

The winning goal capped a dream series by Washington rookie goalie Braden Holtby, who played all seven games.

The Caps won’t know who they will play until the Rangers-Senators and Devils-Panthers play their own respective deciding seventh games Thursday night.

It was the first time in NHL history that all seven games of a playoff series were decided by one goal. It also was the fourth overtime game of the series, each team winning two

The victory was the Caps’ third of the series on Bruins ice, and Washington has the same number of wins, five, on TD Garden ice as the Bruins since March 8.

Washington’s Matt Hendricks and Game 6 overtime hero Tyler Seguin traded goals in regulation.

The second-seeded Bruins were given an ovation from their home crowd and raised their stick in salute to the fans before leaving the ice.

The Bruins had a chance to win the game in the closing minutes of regulation when Jason Chimera went off for holding at 17:34. But the Boston power play could muster nothing, dropping to 0-for-3 for the game and 2-for-23 in the series.

The Capitals, greeted by a rambunctious TD Garden crown, with their goalie hearing chants of “Hoooooooolt-by,” played a solid first period, limiting Boston's chances and sneaking through with just a few of their own in the first period. Their patience paid off with the Hendricks goal at 11:23.

Boston’s Milan Lucic overskated the puck in his own zone and Jason Chimera got the puck back to the point to John Carlson. His shot was tipped home by Hendricks. Carlson was originally credited with the goal before it was changed between periods.

The Bruins heard boos when their anemic power play did little to scare Holtby later in the period, when Jeff Schultz went off for tripping at 18:10.

The second period was extremely fast-paced, but the Caps stuck to their defensive system and really didn’t allow much. Still, the Bruins broke through on a strong forechecking shift by their top line.

After a hard hit by Lucic behind the net, Andrew Ference took a shot from the left point that was turned aside by Holtby. A long rebound went out to Johnny Boychuk, who fired. Holtby made the save but it squirted through and was in the crease when a diving Seguin poked it home at 14:27.

The Bruins had a 25-13 shots advantage through two periods.

NOTES: This was the fifth Game 7 in their last six series for the Bruins. … Patrice Bergeron, playing despite an upper body injury, again toiled at right wing because his injury doesn’t allow him to take face-offs. … Former Bruins goaltender Reggie Lemelin was the celebrity ex-Bruin cheerleader before the game. … The Caps came in 2-7 in Game 7s, but just 0-1 on the road. Boston’s 3-0 Game 7 run last season raised its lifetime Game 7 mark to 12-10. … Washington dressed defenseman Jeff Schultz in favor of John Erskine, while rugged right wing Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch for the second straight game for the Bruins, who needed to dress Jordan Caron in case he had to move up the line chart if Bergeron couldn’t continue.

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