Apr 26, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT
The days of the Washington Capitals scoring over 300 goals in a single season seem to be firmly in the past. After winning their division for three straight seasons from 2008-10, but still falling short in the playoffs, Washington attempted to play a more defensive game, first under Bruce Boudreau and now under new coach Dale Hunter.
The Capitals struggled in the regular season, but ultimately, with the help of a hot goaltender, they made it past the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in seven games.
“We got through the first round,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. “We did that last year. So there’s relief and joy but there’s a lot of work left to do. I’ll think we improved over last year if we can get through the second round. That’s the goal, to do better year after year and this system seems to be the right system to play in the playoffs.
“To have seven one-goal games and four overtime games, this certainly was the best, most competitive series since I’ve owned the team.”
This does seem like a different breed of Capitals team. For all their offensive talent, it’s been their goaltending and defense that’s pushed them this far. The question now is if it will be enough in the second round or if all this drama will ultimately lead to another early exit.
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- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 51
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 37
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 74
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 3) 2
- Bettman says shootouts are staying, gives salary cap estimate 34
- Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question 45
- On Matt Cooke and whether he’s a ‘repeat offender’ 58
- Marleau, O’Reilly and St. Louis named Lady Byng finalists 20
- Zuccarello: ‘I’m not a diver’ 50
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (127)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)