Here's a fun stat: Washington is 12- 21 in Game 5 and 3-8 when leading a best-of-7 series 3-1.— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) April 21, 2016
But they're on it:
Alex Ovechkin: "We control our destiny right now, in this moment. We have to play hard, play simple and play smart."— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) April 22, 2016
And if that fails...
2. After playing the two most special-teams-heavy games of their season in the first three games of the series, Game 4 featured 56:16 of even-strength hockey, with each side team drawing just two minor penalties (a pair of which all but cancelled each other out). That's what happens when you get two teams full of choir boys together, apparently. The Flyers scored on their one opportunity that wasn't cut short by a make-up call, the Caps failed in their one chance that was more than 28 seconds long and wasn't split by an intermission, and what had been an area of utter domination for Washington through three games flipped to the Philly side of the ledger for Game 4.
That the whistles disappeared in Game 4 wasn't surprising, and the Caps know they need to be better than they were (at least through the first 40 minutes) at five-on-five:
Trotz: "We can do more at 5-on-5. Was expecting a lot more 5-on-5 tonight and that's what happened."— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) April 21, 2016
They'll have plenty of chances to "do more" tonight... and if they let the series go any longer:
3. And speaking of penalties (or, more specifically, the lack thereof), the Caps have had just about enough of Brayden Schenn's jackassery. First there was this in Game 1:
Schenn hit at the very end of the game pic.twitter.com/DshNP3PFLi— Stephanie (@myregularface) April 15, 2016
Oh, and this from Game 1:
Here Kuznetsov's head kisses the crossbar (Patrick Smith /Getty) pic.twitter.com/R32unLMbS9— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) April 15, 2016
And this flying check on Mike Richards (via our pals at Sons of Penn):
Again, noted by Wilson.
John Carlson admires his counter hit of Brayden Schenn pic.twitter.com/mWqOQWPuFs— Ian Oland (@ianoland) April 17, 2016
Just kidding (don't mess with the U.S., Brayden).
There was a brutal slash that thankfully only shattered Wilson's stick towards the end of Game 3, presumably other "gamesmanship" that has eluded cameras and/or eyes that would rather focus on actual hockey, and finally (though almost certainly not actually "finally"), this from Game 4:
Trotz on Schenn crosscheck: "Once is maybe a coincidence; twice is not. I think it’s a dangerous play. I think it should not be in our game"— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) April 21, 2016
The League has been made very much aware of the hit (and a similar Game 2 cheap shot by Wayne Simmonds) and it's on them to get this guy under control (don't hold your breath) before matters escalate. (For what it's worth, Schenn has acknowledged that this last crosscheck was "pretty dumb.") For now, all the Caps have is their health, discipline, and this suitable-for-framing (or full back tat) memory: