Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Caps Face Do-Or-Die Game 6

May 21, 2018 - 9:19 am

By Joe Schiller

What a difference one week can make. The Washington Capitals were on Cloud 9 following a convincing Game 2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, en route to the Stanley Cup Final.

Three games later, it’s a completely different storyline.

The Caps now face an unexpected elimination after dropping three straight games. After getting over the second-round hump against the Pittsburgh Penguins just one series before, it’s do-or-die tonight for Game 6.

Creating chances hasn’t been the problem, it’s been converting them. Washington has outshot the Lightning 106-65 in the last three games but has been outscored 11-6 in the goal department. Ultimately, that’s what decides the wins and losses.

Make no mistake about it, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been fantastic as of late. He’s posted a .919 save percentage in the postseason and has clearly stated his case as one of the best netminders in the NHL. But with that being said, this is a Caps team that’s too talented to be falling behind like they have.

Slow starts have been the downfall for Washington and it’s a feat they must overcome tonight. Facing a 2-0 or 3-0 deficit in the first period is extremely difficult to fight back from, no matter how talented the team is. The Caps have to take advantage of penalties and the extra man on the ice, something they failed to do in Game 5.

Facing elimination in the postseason seemingly after holding a commanding series lead is déjà vu at this point.

The Western Conference has already been decided by the Vegas Golden Knights continuing their incredible story as a first-year expansion team. Backed by the home crowd tonight, the Caps will look to follow similar destiny, in a must-win game to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive.