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The Noon Number: Late Gate

A look at some ill-timed misbehavior

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5 - Number of penalties taken by the Capitals during the final 10 minutes of regulation in their series against the Hurricanes. In Game 1, it was a hooking call on Vrana and a high-sticking minor on Oshie; Game 2 saw Nic Dowd getting the gate for a high-sticking infraction late in the third, while Brett Connolly (roughing) and Vrana again (high-sticking) both sat late in Game 3.

Most troubling about this is that in two of the three games, those penalties were taken while it was a one-goal contest - and in Game 2, the late call on Dowd led to the game-tying goal to force overtime.

All told, the Caps have been shorthanded 13 times already through the three games (silver lining of which is that it’s only one more time than their opponent). And while they’ve killed off 10 of those penalties, we know that even with an improved penalty kill, the more disciplined this team can stay - especially late in close games - the better off they’ll be.