ARLINGTON, Va. – As the Washington Capitals began to establish themselves as Stanley Cup contenders several seasons ago, they did so with a penchant for late-game dramatics.
Since the 2008-09 season, no team has more wins when trailing in the third period than the Capitals' 49, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That trend has continued this season. Washington leads the NHL with nine such victories, the most recent coming Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Down 2-1 after Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel scored less than a minute into the third period, the Capitals rallied with goals from forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward to win 3-2, their second straight victory.
"Aside from a handful of games, we feel like we can win every single game," defenseman Karl Alzner said. "Doesn't matter if we're playing great or just okay, we always have that feeling where [Alex Ovechkin] can break out and score three goals or [Backstrom] can set up 10 guys. We have that feeling that we can win every game."