Game 4 of the Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Semi-finals versus the New York Rangers is all about each teams mental make up.
In a game that could potentially determine the outcome of this series, how each team handles the outcome of Game 3 will decide who comes out on top in Game 4.
History shows that the winner of playoff games that last three or more periods usually win the series. This particular stat does not bode well for the Capitals as they have lost the previous three series they've played in that includes a triple overtime or more loss.
This group of Capitals, though, may be different. They overcame a two-games-to-one series deficit to the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the previous round, and won Game 4 after losing Game 3 at Verizon Center on a late Zdeno Chara goal.
It's not like they haven't won a Game 4 in these playoffs after suffering a tough Game 3 loss. They've also won a series against a former Vezina Trophy winner who also happens to be the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
They also have a coach who knows what it's like to lose a game in the manner the Capitals lost Game 3 to the Rangers.
Dale Hunter was a member of the Capitals when they lost Game 4 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth overtime. That loss was also a home loss for Washington.
The impact Hunter has had on the teams mental toughness has been apparent since the start of the playoffs. You don't think he's told the players to forgot Game 3 was even played?
There are several things the Capitals are going to have to do to win Game 4. They are going to need more time in the offensive zone and more traffic in front of Henrik Lunqvist.
But, in order to do all of that they are going to have to have the right mindset when the puck drops Saturday afternoon.
I, for one, think they will.