Immediately after the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets and finished shaking hands at center ice, Alex Ovechkin was interviewed by NBC Sports’ Joe Micheletti at the team’s bench.
Ovechkin scored two goals in the elimination game.
“You said after the second game, when your team trailed, that’d you’d go back to Washington tied 2-2,” Micheletti said. “What made you think that?”
Ovechkin smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t know. Probably believe in each other, believe in this group of guys,” Ovechkin said. “We do pretty good job handle the pressure, stay the course. It was a pretty fun series.
“I think we just stick to the plan, you know? There was no panic when we were down by two. We knew we just had to take one game,” Ovechkin continued. “The first win was huge. It was pretty big goal by Lars and after that we feel much better. We knew it. If we take another one we’re gonna take it home and take the series.”
Finally, Micheletti asked Ovechkin about the team’s upcoming second-round series against their hated rival: the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals have lost nine of ten series against the Penguins all time. The teams have met in the second round the last two seasons. The Capitals lost both times as the Penguins went on to win consecutive Stanley Cup championships.
“You’ve got Pittsburgh coming up for the third year in a row,” Micheletti said. “What do you think about the series coming up?”
“Yeah, I can’t wait,” Ovechkin said.
In the locker room, Ovechkin elaborated even further.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to take a step forward,” Ovechkin said. “Obviously, it’s the Stanley Cup champion back-to-back. They know how to play. They know how to handle the pressure. It’s going to be a huge series for us.
“We believe in each other,” Ovechkin continued. “It doesn’t matter what happened, we have to stick together. We have to stick to the plan and stick to the system.”
Later, Barry Trotz was asked about the team’s upcoming face off with the Penguins, but was not as carefree and enthusiastic as his team’s captain.
“I’m not talking about the next opponent. Please let me breath,” Trotz said. “We haven’t taken a breath since this thing started so I’m not going to answer any questions if you want to bring those up.”
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