Caps vs. Pens: We’ve Seen This Movie Before

Posted May 3, 2016

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in Game 3. (Caps Outsider)

To say Capitals fans haven’t witnessed last night’s grueling loss before may not be entirely accurate.

Whether it’s Henrik Lundqvist, more recently Michal Neuvirth, or the latest hero, Matt Murray, who steps up, every one-goal road loss in the playoffs still feels like Déjà vu.

Have Caps fans not been read this story before?

Well in case you forgot, here’s how it goes:

The offensive push in the final frame and with the extra skater comes up just short, and the Caps drop a one-goal road playoff game to a team with a hot goalie.

Here come the statistics (2008-present):

  • The Capitals are 15-23 in road playoff games
  • 17 of the 23 losses have been one-goal losses.
  • The Caps averaged 30 shots-on-goal in the 17 one-goal losses (49 last night)
  • Of those 17 losses, the Caps have trailed entering the third period in only of them
  • In those 7 games, the team averaged 12 shots on goal in the third, including 20 last night, but could not tie the game

You may remember the Miracle on 34th Street 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 4 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden. The Caps trailed 3-0 entering the third period but came back to tie and win the game. I’m sure many Caps fans were nostalgic for that memory after 40 minutes last night.

Bad news (2008-present): Singular event

  • Game 4 in April 2011 was the only time the Caps trailed entering the third period and won an away playoff game
  • 13 one-goal away playoff losses since that win

Good news (this season): Domination away from Verizon Center

The Capitals were 27-10-4 away from home this season. A deficit through 40 minutes on the road was rare.

  • 2-7 – Record when trailing through two periods on the road
  • – Times the Caps nearly completed the comeback in the final period (all playoff teams)
    • Feb. 13: Trailed 4-0 @ Dallas (4-3 L)
    • Feb. 28: Trailed 3-1 @ Chicago (3-2 L)
    • Mar. 9: Trailed 3-0 @ LA (4-3 OTL)

Pittsburgh improved to 44-0-0 this season when leading after two periods.

Lesson: The Caps must be close on the scoreboard through two periods Wednesday.