After a pair of back-to-back losses in two nights, the scenario the Capitals didn't want (thanks to Yanni) came true Saturday night.
The Caps turned in a pair of sub-prime efforts in the Steel City, and although their game was much better in Game 5, the result was the same and now Washington faces elimination Monday night at the Igloo.
But even moments after a tough loss, the Caps weren't too down despite the setback, knowing their recent history of being able to play well with their backs against the wall.
"We have opportunity to win the game and we lost and we [are] disappointed," Alex Ovechkin said after the game, "but we're gonna come back here again [for] Game 7. That's our goal."
Of course, this being a series against the Penguins, it creates some angst in the Caps' fan base to fall in three straight games to Pittsburgh even though this group has nothing to do with those old editions of the playoff failures against the Pens.
Washington did play its most complete game of the series Saturday despite a 24-hour turnaround after a sloppy Game 4 loss, only to see the game turn away from them in a ten-minute lull in the third period as the Penguins were able to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead.
Although Ovechkin was able to force overtime with a nice goal with just over four minutes left, the Penguins were able to cash in on their chances in the extra session, creating a penalty and then finishing on a bad bounce as Evgeni Malkin's centering feed to Sidney Crosby went off Tom Poti's stick and into the net.
But with Sergei Gonchar reportedly out for the series, the Capitals were able to create a lot more offense than they had in the previous two games, and they certainly figure to put together a better effort Monday than they did in the previous two sloppy efforts in the Igloo with their season on the line.
Of course, there is no margin for error anymore for Washington, although the Caps in the past two years have seemed to thrive on playing on the edge, going 11-1-0 down the stretch and rallying from a 3-1 deficit twice in their last two playoff series to force a deciding game at home for a 5-1 mark in elimination games.
The Caps still need to crash the net more, and presumably will be using Donald Brashear back in the lineup as his suspension ended tonight. The Penguins certainly have done their share of geting contact on Simeon Varlamov - with even Crosby getting in the act in overtime - but Washington hasn't really made Marc-Andre Fleury pay for some bad rebounds and not gotten much contact on the Penguins goalie.
The series is getting increasingly physical with some big hits thrown around Saturday, and Brashear likely will get his chance to create some traffic and generate some hits on the Penguins.
Washington certainly will be looking to see if they can weave some of that comeback magic Monday at the Igloo, and look to force a deciding Game 7 at Verizon Center.