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Said Boudreau: “Look, every player in the world likes to score goals, but we’ve gone through that. The best players have scored. The best players on our team have won all kinds of awards and accolades and everything else, and the one thing they haven’t won is the big one.”

Every Capitals playoff series has gone to seven games since Boudreau became coach in 2007. Washington has won only one, coming from 3-1 down to beat the Rangers two years ago. Regardless of how they play, their legacy won’t mean much if they don’t finally break through and put together a deep run into the playoffs.

“Sometimes the most exciting part of your life is two months long, and sometimes it’s only two weeks long,” Boudreau said. “We hope it’s longer than it was last year.”