ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals haven't lost more than two consecutive games since the middle of March. That includes the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they are 4-0 following a loss.
They hope to keep that going in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Rangers on Sunday (7 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) at Verizon Center. With a win, Washington would advance to the Eastern Conference Final.
It was a goal set before the season started, and Washington coach Barry Trotz said the past 30 games of the season were probably the best as far as achieving that goal.
"I think guys understand you lose a game, it's sort of the playoff mentality, you let it go and you figure out what to do for the next game," Trotz said Saturday. "It's a simple formula but it's a mindset you have to have."
The Capitals lost to the Rangers on March 11 and the Dallas Stars on March 13. They haven't had two losses in a row since.
The last time the Capitals lost more than two consecutive games during the regular season was Feb 22, 25, and 27 to the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes.
After a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Friday, the Capitals cancelled practice Saturday and instead took time to reset for Game 6.
"That's how it's been with us all year," forward Jay Beagle said. "Especially in playoffs, you've just got to move on. You let that sit for a little bit and you move on the next day. It's just a matter of staying confident and coming in and realizing the situation and knowing that we still have Game 6 in our barn. This is the playoffs, this is what you look forward to, coming back home for a big game."
It's something Washington has done all season, and something the players say has been easier as the season has progressed. They're not dwelling on the disappointment or success of the previous game. All attention is focused in the moment and the task ahead of them.
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 2
SOG: 26 | +/-: 0
"It's the same approach we've been approaching every game with in every series," defenseman Mike Green
said. "Nothing changes on our end. We still want to accomplish the things we want to accomplish. When we've had games that didn't go well or whatnot, or something happened, we've responded well. That's probably the reason why and we take pride in that."
Washington has won five consecutive games at Verizon Center during the postseason but know the series-clincher is the toughest to win.
"It's tough to close people out," forward Jason Chimera said. "You've got to take care of business and live in that moment. This is what you play for."
Chimera said everyone knows what they have to do, but no one is more focused on winning than goaltender Braden Holtby.
"He doesn't like to lose," Chimera said. "He loses and he takes it pretty personally. He wants to show everybody he's going to come back and help us out. It starts with him and he's a leader back there and we all feed off him. We all don't like to lose. We want to come back with a good effort the next day."