It has come down to this for the Washington Capitals. They have already lost the first two games of their 2011 NHL Playoffs second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on home ice. Now, they must win Game 3 in Tampa Bay Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to have any chance in the series. If they lose, it will take an absolute miracle to continue on in a season that had so much promise just a month ago.
Have the Capitals been a bit unlucky to lose the first two games of the series? Perhaps. But they have also been outplayed, as their power play has been stuck in neutral for a long, long time. Alex Ovechkin came through with a big goal to tie the game in regulation at the end of Game 2, but his running mate, Nicklas Backstrom, has now gone 15 games without scoring. Washington has also made several uncharacteristically poor line changes, one of which led to Vincent Lecavalier's game-winning goal in Game 2.
The Capitals have come back from down 2-0 before, doing it in 2009 to defeat the New York Rangers in the first round. But now, they must do it again against a better team and with much more at stake. That journey begins now.