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McPhee wondered Wednesday about the slew of Game 3 penalties: “What did we do to deserve that?”

He said he addressed the situation with the NHL.

“I talked to them during the series, but at some point, you stop and they’ll referee the way they want to referee,” McPhee said.

In Game 6 on Sunday, the Rangers got five power plays and the Caps got none. Goaltender Braden Holtby said the power play to penalty kill ratio should have been more evenly matched.

“We won’t use it as an excuse,” Holtby said.

Oates took issue with what he thought was a slew foot by Derek Dorsett on defenseman Mike Green but said, “5-0 in power plays, you don’t want to complain.”

“It’s probably unprecedented in a 1-0 hockey game in this league that one team gets five power plays and the other team gets nothing,” McPhee said Wednesday. “I can’t explain that. I don’t know why it happened.”

It happened, and the Caps couldn’t help but think about it.

“You know every game’s not going to be like that,” left wing Jason Chimera said May 13, two hours before Game 7 began. “It’s not going to be 5-0 [in power plays] every time.”

Each team had two power plays in Game 7, but 5-0 was still prominent because that was the final score as the Rangers skated the Caps out of their own building. By that time, there was no room for excuses.

Two days later, as players had exit meetings with Oates and McPhee and left the team’s practice facility for the offseason, defenseman Jack Hillen acknowledged he was still “bitter.” The loss was still fresh, but penalties weren’t at the forefront of his analysis.

“I guess we just all need to be better,” Hillen said. “We got beat.”