With a 3-2 loss to the Penguins, the Washington Capitals are now one defeat away from elimination. The team’s last, best chance for a championship sits on a knife’s edge.
The Penguins started early. Patric Hornqvist scored on a rush against Brooks Orpik and Karl Alzner. At the dawn of the second period, Dmitry Orlov kicked a puck into his own net, sending the Caps reeling into a 2-0 deficit. They clawed out with goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nate Schmidt, but Justin Schultz’s power-play goal restored Pittsburgh’s lead heading into the third. The Caps racked up attempts in the third but could not beat Marc-Andre Halak, shit, I mean Marc-Andre Fleury.
Penguins beat Caps 3-2. Penguins lead the series 3-1. The Caps could be eliminated on Saturday.
Roger Sterling throwing up of the night
On Saturday night the Caps will play for more than their season. This is the team’s last chance at a championship before losing some players to free agency and watching others leave their peak years. But more than just their window for a championship, the Capitals will be playing for the very soul of their franchise.
The pathology of the playoff Capitals looms large. I don’t know what the team will do, but I do know that legions of fans are already braced for defeat. History vindicates that decision. The only ones who can belie it will be wearing red in Chinatown on Saturday night. I’ll watch.
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