Continued from page 1

The Caps lost in 2008 to the Flyers in overtime to end that season in the first round. Washington then completed a rally from a 3-1 series deficit against the Rangers in the first round last season before turning in a terrible performance against the Penguins in the deciding game of the second round.

For all the accolades the Caps have earned in 2009-10, it won’t mean a whole lot if the team squanders this series with perhaps the best club in franchise history and leave the club with a bitter offseason to ponder how the season came unglued so quickly.

And now, it will come down to the result of the series’ final 60 minutes — or perhaps more with overtime — on Wednesday, somewhere the Capitals didn’t want to be.