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Two Down is Rare Now

May 5, 2013

On March 16 in Boston, the Caps suffered a 4-1 loss to the Bruins, a setback that dropped Washington’s record to 11-15-1 on the season. Since that date, the Capitals have played 21 regular season and two Stanley Cup playoff games. Washington has posted an 18-3-2 record in those games.


Even more remarkable, the Caps have literally been in every one of those 23 games. Perhaps their poorest performance during that stretch was a 3-1 loss to the Senators in Ottawa on April 18. Ottawa administered the dagger goal in that game with an empty-net tally in the 59th minute.


Even though the Caps did not play well in that game against the Senators, they were a shot away from tying the game or being in the lead throughout nearly the whole game.


Dating back to that loss against the Bruins on March 16, the Caps have not trailed buy more than two goals at any point in any game. Including overtimes, that’s more than 1,400 minutes of hockey in which Washington has – at worst – been within two goals of its opponent.


The Caps have trailed by as many as two goals in just five of those 23 games, and they ended up winning three of those five. Washington rebounded from two-goal deficits to earn victories on March 30 in Buffalo, on April 2 in Carolina and in the regular season finale on April 27 against the Bruins at Verizon Center.


“The big thing with that is offensive confidence,” says Caps goalie Braden Holtby. “When you get down, that’s the main thing. If you don’t believe you can score goals, you’re not going to come back. But we have that belief that we can, even if we’re down and we need to take a few more risks offensively. Us on the defensive side, we know that so we’re ready to make up for that to give us a chance to win in those situations. There’s no lead that’s safe with us because of our talent up front.”


During their last 23 games, the Caps have trailed by as many as two goals for less than the equivalent of one game, a total of 59 minutes and 56 seconds.