WASHINGTON — Lose one game, win the next.
No matter how seemingly devastating a defeat, in overtime or otherwise, the Washington Capitals — from two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin to playoff rookie goalie Braden Holtby — simply do not allow setbacks to bother them. They regroup, get back out there and follow a loss with a victory, each time by the slimmest of margins.
Ovechkin rebounded from a rare zero-shot performance by scoring after 88 seconds Wednesday night, Holtby made 30 saves, and the Capitals recovered the way they always seem to, beating the top-seeded New York Rangers 2-1 to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"We're resilient," Washington defenseman Karl Alzner said. "We have that thick skin. We know when to battle back when we need to and have to."
The Capitals could have folded. Instead, they staved off elimination, and the teams will meet in New York on Saturday night to determine who will face the New Jersey Devils in the conference finals.
"It's where we want to be," Holtby said. "We didn't expect a short series."