WASHINGTON (AP) -Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are starting their offseason much sooner than they expected after becoming the first top-seeded team to blow a 3-1 series lead against a No. 8 in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Capitals had made clear they thought they could win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with the league's best record and most goals.
A day after being eliminated in the opening round with a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7, though, the Capitals are facing several tough questions. Are the Presidents' Trophy winners built for success in the playoffs? Are significant changes needed?
I've never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don't know how many times guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive and they did every time. It was amazing. It's not the way we draw it up, to go 20 rounds here, but obviously it's a big win.
— Florida goalie Roberto Luongo after the Panthers defeated the Capitals in the longest shootout in NHL history on Tuesday