The defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins staved off elimination from the playoffs with a 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday while the Philadelphia Flyers ousted Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins.
After a turnover in the neutral zone, Tyler Seguin stormed into the Washington end and used a nifty shoulder deke to fool rookie goalie Braden Holtby before sliding home the game-winner a little over three minutes into overtime.
"A couple of days off, play at home and get the (Boston) Garden rocking," Seguin, who led the Bruins in scoring during the regular season, said during an on-ice televised interview at Washington's Verizon Center. "It's going to be good."
Seguin's goal, his first of the postseason, snapped a two-game losing skid for the Bruins and sets up a decisive seventh game showdown on Wednesday in Boston to determine the winner of the opening-round Eastern Conference series.
Washington forced overtime when an Alex Ovechkin slapshot beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas with five minutes remaining in regulation after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff that sent the puck to the captain, who coolly kicked the puck to his stick.
Ovechkin's goal came about three minutes after Andrew Ference put the visitors in front 3-2 when he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Washington net with Holtby out of position.
Rich Peverley and David Krejci had the Bruins' other goals while Mike Green and Jason Chimera also scored for Washington.
In Philadelphia, Claude Giroux made sure the Flyers booked a ticket to second round of the National Hockey League playoffs for the third straight season with a three-point performance in a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh that wrapped up the series 4-2.
Giroux set the tone early by dumping Crosby to the ice with a hard check after the opening faceoff before stealing the puck from Steve Sullivan and going in for the game's first goal just 32 seconds into the game.
"Usually we never get a good start," Giroux said. "I was trying to start the team up. I was able to get a little hit on him and kind of get the guys going."
A power-play goal by Scott Hartnell 13 minutes later and Erik Gustafsson's first tally of the postseason in the second period put Philadelphia in control, much to the delight of the orange-clad Flyers fans.
The Penguins got on the board when Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal but any momentum from that was washed away as the Flyers' Danny Briere responded 34 seconds later with a shot from the side of the net that ricocheted past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Flyers' Brayden Schenn capped the scoring when he put the puck into an empty net with eight seconds to play and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 31 of 32 shots on goal for the win.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)