With a chance to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in Monday's Game 6 against the Hurricanes in Carolina, the Caps managed a decent enough start. But their failure to add to the first leads a road team has owned in this series - combined with some self-inflicted wounds and a controversial disallowed goal - left them short at the end.
Close The Door - The Caps come into Game 6 of their first-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes on the heels of their best performance of the series, a 6-0 win in Game 5 on Saturday night in Washington. That victory broke a 2-2 series deadlock and gives the Caps an opportunity to close out the Canes in Carolina in Monday's Game 6.
Five Alive - Washington won Game 5 for the sixth time in its last seven playoff series on Saturday night in D.C., blowing out the Hurricanes by a 6-0 count for the most lopsided playoff win in Capitals franchise history. The win gives the Caps a 3-2 series lead, and an opportunity to advance to the second round of the playoffs if they can win Game 6 in Raleigh on Monday night.
After each of the first four games of their first-round playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes, and regardless of the result, it wasn't difficult to find multiple Caps players claiming, "we have another level to get to."
The Song Is Familiar - As they get ready to host the Carolina Hurricanes in a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday night, the Capitals find themselves in familiar territory. This is the fifth time in its last six playoff series that Washington sits even after four games.
Better Than Broken - Better wasn't quite good enough for the Capitals on Thursday night in Raleigh, maybe because the bar was set so low after a dismal performance in a 5-0 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 3 here on Monday. The Caps knew they'd need to match the Canes' intensity and drive in Game 4, and for the most part, they did. But a soft start and two ill-timed mistakes in the middle of the ice cost them a 2-1 decision to Carolina in Game 4.
Washington's 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes on Thursday night was a costly one on multiple levels. First, it cost the Caps their lead in the series; Carolina's Game 4 victory evens the first-round Stanley Cup playoff set between the two teams at 2-2, with Game 5 back in D.C. on Saturday night.
I Know There's An Answer - For the first time in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Caps are coming into a game on the heels of a loss, this one an ugly 5-0 setback to the Hurricanes in Game 3 on Monday in Raleigh.