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?
We don't have any excuses tonight. Excuses are for losers. We've played with five defensemen before and it didn't affect us. We just had a bad second period and it cost us the game. We have to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.
— Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's play with the loss of defenseman Johnny Boychuk