TAMPA, Fla. | History isn't on the Capitals' side. Of the 162 times in Stanley Cup Playoff history a team has fallen behind 3-0 in a series, three teams have come back to win.
“It takes a special team to do that, and I think we have a special team,” Alzner said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we can do it.”
But the Capitals are trying desperately to avoid looking at their 3-0 deficit to the Lightning as that. They need four straight victories to stave off elimination.
“You don’t think of it as four. You think of it as one,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Four seems like a daunting task. One doesn’t seem as [daunting]. If we’re gonna get success, then we’re just gonna look at one more.”
That's because it is a daunting task. But it all starts Wednesday night in Game 4 at St. Pete Times Forum. Alex Ovechkin said the right things about fighting and winning and coming back following Tuesday’s Game 3 defeat, but now the sense of urgency is upon the Caps for the first time this season.
For whatever reason it wasn’t there in the third period Tuesday when they managed just five shots. This series the Caps have just 15 shots in third periods, and four of them have come from beyond the blue line.
“It seems to be a point of contention with us right now. Usually in the third period [this] year and the years gone by are our best periods,” Boudreau said. “And we got outworked in the third period. It’s something obviously that’s a problem and we have to change it.”
Alzner admitted it’s cliché but that the Caps need to take it one game at a time. Boudreau compared it to being far out of the playoff race and not thinking of how many points it would take to climb into contention.
This is a much more immediate problem though – and players are focused on one 7 p.m. faceoff with so much at stake.
“That’s all you can do. There is no tomorrow,” defenseman Scott Hannan said. “Just lay it on the line tonight and get a couple days off and then do the same thing. We know we’re a team that can put four together and there is nothing else to do.”
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