WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals have battled through deficits and injuries during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Their latest challenge was a thunderstorm.
After defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, the Capitals returned here from Las Vegas on Thursday, landing at Dulles International Airport around 5 p.m. ET. But because of lightning in the area, ground personnel could not get out to the plane.
"It's pouring and the ground crew can't take us off the plane," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said on a conference call from the plane.
Sam Sweeney of WJLA-TV in Washington reported that Alex Ovechkin's family was waiting at the airport during the ground stoppage. Sweeney tweeted that the Capitals deplaned around 7 p.m. ET.
Washington has faced adversity throughout the postseason. They trailed the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 in the first round before winning the series in six games. They beat their perennial playoff foe, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the second round. They lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final 6-4 before evening the best-of-7 series.
Game 3 is at Capital One Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
"We'll get some energy off our crowd, and hopefully you want to get the other team on their heels when they're at home a little bit just as you do on the road," Trotz said.
The Capitals have been without some of their top forwards. Andre Burakovsky missed 10 games with an upper-body injury, and Nicklas Backstrom missed four games with a right-hand injury. Evgeny Kuznetsov sustained an upper-body injury in Game 2 against the Golden Knights; Trotz didn't have an update on Kuznetsov.
The ground stoppage was just one more hurdle.
"Our guys are fine," Trotz said. "It's another layer of adversity we have to go through all the time. We always chuckle about it."