Montreal shocked the Capitals in Game One Thursday, but should we really have been that surprised?
Since Alex Ovechkin arrived in D.C., the Capitals have only made the playoffs in the last three seasons. Each series they have played in has gone the full seven games, with the Capitals going 1-1 in Game One of each of their opening rounds.
Suffice to say the Canadiens could be in for a long series, something the Capitals and their captain are used to playing. They also know that winning the first game isn't as important in a series as winning four is.
Here's the breakdown of each Game One the Caps have been in up prior to this season, and how the series wound up.
April 11, 2008: The Capitals defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in Game One of the opening round. The Capitals rallied back with three goals in the final period. Ovechkin set up the tying goal by Mike Green, and scored the game winner with under five minutes to play.
The Flyers would win the series in seven games, with two games (including Game Seven) going to overtime. Ovechkin finished with nine points. In Game Four he was held to a single shot, but still managed two assists.
April 15, 2009: The Capitals lose 4-3 in the opening round to the New York Rangers, despite dominating in shots and in the face-off circle.Jose Theodore was brutal, allowing four goals on 21 shots.
Ovechkin is named the game's First Star with two assists and 13 shots on goal. The Second Star? Scott Gomez (1 G 2A).
Despite dropping the first two games at home, Washington wins the series in seven games thanks to the brilliant goaltending of Simeon Varlamov, who started Game Two and never looked back. Ovechkin finished the series with seven points (3G, 4A) and was held off the score sheet in Game Seven.
May 2, 2009: The Capitals face off against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Varamov continues to shine as Washington pulls out a 3-2 win. Ovechkin logs a power play goal on nine shots.
The home team wins the first two games, but the series (2 Pittsburgh wins in OT) goes to a deciding seventh game.. The Penguins break Varlamov down in the final game, beating him four times on 18 shots, chasing him out early in the second period. Theodore lets in a fifth Pittsburgh goal midway into the period, nullifying any chance for Washington to come back.
What was dubbed a dream match-up was just that with Ovechkin (8 G, 6A) and Crosby (8G, 5A) both outstanding and each getting a hat trick in Game Two.
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