April 25 (UPI) -- The Carolina Hurricanes stunned the Washington Capitals in the second overtime, picking up a 4-3 win in Game 7 Wednesday night to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Capitals held a 3-1 lead in the second period, but the Hurricanes stormed back to claim their first playoff series win since the 2008-09 season.
"I don't know what else to say about this group," Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters. "They just don't quit. We've got great leadership. I'm just really proud of this group. This is special, and this is a special group and I'm glad to be a part of it."
Washington grabbed a two-goal lead in the first period after goals from Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson. Sebastian Aho scored a short-handed goal midway through the second to trim the Capitals' lead to 2-1.
The Capitals pushed their lead back to two scores following Evgeny Kuznetsov's first goal of the postseason. Tuevo Teravainen notched his third goal of the series as the Hurricanes trailed 3-2 going into the final period.
Jordan Staal tied the game in the third, and Brock McGinn scored in the second overtime as the Hurricanes grinded for the win in the third-longest Game 7 in NHL history. Carolina outshot the Capitals 18-6 in the overtimes.
The Hurricanes' upset win caps an eventful first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's the first time in league history that all four division winners were eliminated in the opening round. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators joined the Capitals with early exits.
The Capitals fell to 4-8 in Game 7s in the Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom era, including a 5-12 all-time mark. The Hurricanes take on the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday night for Game 1 of the second-round series.