In what could be one of the most sloppily played defensive game, the Caps used Jakub Vrana bumping up to the first line to help propel them to four unanswered goals (including two empty netters) in the third and gave the Caps a 3-2 series lead. Evgeny Kuznetsov had the game-tying goal and two assists, but the rest star was Braden Holtby. Holtby kept the Caps in the game after a barrage of Penguins chances and shut the door on them in key moments to keep the Caps alive and ahead.
That’s win seven in the playoffs, which means we look at the ONLY #7.
In the 43 seasons the Capitals have operated, there has only been one player to wear #7 and it’s the man who has ties to the organization and area– that’s Yvon Labre. While he only played 334 of his 371 games with the Capitals, he kept himself involved with the team after his retirement in 1981.
Labre was picked from Pittsburgh in the Expansion Draft of 1974, while being fourth in scoring in the inaugural season with the Caps and top amongst defensemen. Labre was the first player to score a goal at home for the Caps and was captain from 1975-76 until 1977-78 before starting to see some injuries mount up on him and forced him into retirement at only 31 years old.
However, Labre was dedicated to the DC area, taking part in a number of community projects, while also staying with the team as a coach, scout, and community ambassador. His number 7 was the first to be retired by the team, as he continues his time around the community with the Capitals and around area hockey. The Yvon Labre Award is given to the high school senior in the Maryland Student Hockey League based on dedication, work ethic, skill, and leadership.
Labre is always going to be remembered by Caps fans, though it was probably more for his contributions off the ice, as little is remembered from his on-ice days for more.