1. If past performance is any indication of future results (and it’s almost certainly not, but just go with it), the Caps have to be feeling pretty good going into Game 5. Per Caps Today:
The Capitals have won three consecutive Game 5s when the series is tied 2-2 (2012 ECQF, 2013 ECQF, 2015 ECQF). Braden Holtby has registered a 1.65 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage in seven career Game 5s and Alex Ovechkin has earned 10 points (6g, 4a) in 12 career Game 5s.
And, more generally...
I made a graph of historical series results in the playoffs based on who has won the most recent game.— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) April 20, 2017
This suggest WSH is back in control. pic.twitter.com/EuiqTpD5Qe
That’s all encouraging, because the Caps’ haven’t rebounded well (at all) from losing these games in the past:
Capitals are tied 2-2 in a best-of-7 series for the 14th time. Washington is 0-8 when going on to lose Game 5 (4-1 with Game 5 win).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 20, 2017
Then again, there’s a first time for everything... which is presumably why we’re still watching this team in the first place.
2. Get to your seats early, because three of the four games so far have featured a goal in the first three minutes (the other one forced fans to wait nearly 18 before the fireworks started), and each of the last two featured another another one before the the game was five minutes old (with a third just after the five-minute mark in Game 4). Overall, the Caps have outscored the Leafs 7-5 in the first periods so far, which represents half of the Caps’ goal total for the series and 43 percent of the combined total. It’s also worth noting that that 7-5 edge is the exact same as St. Louis’s advantage over Minnesota... counting all three periods and overtimes.
3. In case you’d missed it, the formerly to-be-determined start time for Game 6 has been determined: the puck will drop shortly after seven o’clock on Sunday night, which may have been a bit of a surprise, given that NBC had a Sunday afternoon slot available:
Caps-Leafs--arguably most compelling series, has gotten good ratings on cable and has current and young stars. Why wouldn't it be on NBC?— Eric Fingerhut (@ericfingerhut) April 21, 2017
Head to head nationally and not including Boston and DC, Caps-Leafs outdrew Bos-Ott by more than 200K Wed https://t.co/7EzFncCvp0— Eric Fingerhut (@ericfingerhut) April 21, 2017
Regardless, there’s one thing we do know about Sunday night’s game: someone is going to be facing elimination. If it wasn’t already, stuff’s about to get real...
Mike Babcock: "Teams are going home now, you can see, so pretty soon there’s only eight and if you want to be one of them you dig in."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 21, 2017