Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/22/12

This afternoon’s game 6 loss to the Boston Bruins was to a large degree a carbon copy of the Washington’s previous five:

  • It was a one-goal game.  This will be the first time in playoff history that a game 7 will be played where the previous six games were all won by a single goal.
  • It required more than sixty minutes to determine the winner.  Three of the six games played in the series were not decided in regulation.
  • The goalies kept each team in the game.  Although Braden Holtby gave up four goals on only 31 Bruin shots, he made some incredible saves to force this one into overtime.  He still ranks fourth among playoff goalies with a 0.946 save percentage.
  • This was another physical game.  Once again, there were a total of more than 70 hits in this game.
  • Giveaways by the Capitals once again proved their undoing.  The Bruins overtime score resulted from a breakaway allowed by an errant Nicklas Backstrom pass.  This was particularly unfortunate in that #19 had an otherwise exceptional game, winning designation as the game’s #2 star with a pair of assists.
  • Alex Ovechkin ‘awoke’ after two periods of average — at least by his standards — hockey to knock in the game-tying goal with less than five minutes left in regulation.  Washington’s Captain has been on again – off again throughout the playoffs, and lack of a full 60 minutes of flying around has hurt the Capitals on more than one occasion.

So, where does this leave the Capitals as they head north for game 7?  They have played extremely well on Boston’s home ice, having won two of the three playoff games played there thus far and four of five total games since the season opened in October.  Having said that, the Bruins have much more experience and a better record in game 7’s, having survived them multiple times during last year’s Stanley Cup run.

So, the prognosticator in this correspondent believes that game 7 will come down to special teams.  The Capitals have won two of three games when scoring on the power play and lost two of three when they have been shut out when playing with a man advantage.  As for as their penalty-killing prowess, it has been more than adequate and we can only hope it remains as good as it has been.

Capitals fans are now holding their breath until Wednesday — we can only hope that the exhaling will occur with shouts of victory following a Washington win and the ticket to proceed to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Let’s Go Caps!

 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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