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The Dale Hunter Capitals have been nothing like that. There were some bumps during the regular season, sure, but once the playoffs began, the Caps knew exactly who they were and what they needed to do: play better no-frills, shot-blocking hockey than their opponents. Not once have they lost consecutive games in this postseason. And only briefly — late in the opener against the Rangers — have they been out of any game.

“It’s hard to get down on yourself when you lose in triple overtime,” Chimera said. “It’s hard to feel bad when you’re playing such good games. It makes it easy to get up for the next game.” And Game 7s are easier still, he added, because “you know you’re going to remember them for the rest of your life.”

The Capitals have finally found a formula that works — after decades of laboratory explosions, billowing clouds of smoke, broken windows and fire alarms. If they’re still standing after Saturday night, there may be no stopping them.