page contents The 13 excruciating playoff losses that have D.C. sports fans starving for one more Caps win – The News Headline

The 13 excruciating playoff losses that have D.C. sports fans starving for one more Caps win

It’s time to finish this factor. (John McDonnell / The Washington Put up)

No D.C. sports activities group has misplaced a playoff sport with a possibility to clinch a convention ultimate berth in the similar yr horse who by no means began as a 2-year-old gained the Kentucky Derby. That’s a reality, and it’s possibly a just right omen for the Capitals forward of Monday’s Recreation 6 in Pittsburgh.

Hours after Justify broke the 136-year-old Curse of Apollo on Saturday by way of profitable the 144th operating of the Kentucky Derby in spite of no longer racing as a 2-year-old, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 6-Three, at Capital One Area to take a three-games-to-two collection lead in opposition to the Penguins. That provides Alex Ovechkin and Co. two possibilities to finish D.C. sports activities’ absurd 20-year convention finals drought.

Since the Capitals closed out the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of their second-round series in 1998 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals, the Capitals, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards have combined to go 0-13 in games that would have clinched a conference final berth. The Capitals have lost six such games, the Nats four, the Redskins two and the Wizards one.

“Just get behind us, please,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said Sunday with regards to his group being so on the subject of the 1/3 spherical as soon as once more. “That’s all I ask. We’re those taking part in. Consider me, there’s no longer a participant, a trainer, teacher, possession, GM, who isn’t seeking to do the whole thing they may be able to to win this collection. Consider me. We’re attempting as laborious as we will. On the finish of the day, that’s all we will promise. Get at the back of us. Assist push us ahead and we’re going to come up with our perfect.”

D.C. sports activities enthusiasts are at the back of the Capitals, as are the recollections of those 13 video games.

1.) Jan. 15, 2000, Divisional Spherical: Buccaneers 14, Redskins 13

After defeating the Lions, 27-13, within the wild-card spherical at house, the NFC East champion Redskins traveled to Tampa Bay for a gathering with Tony Dungy’s Buccaneers. In a defensive fight that featured nearly as many punts (18) as first downs (22), Washington constructed a 13-Zero lead halfway throughout the 1/3 quarter, most effective to look at Tampa Bay struggle again at the back of quarterback Shaun King.

With 1:17 final and Washington trailing, 14-13, Redskins kicker Brett Conway covered as much as try a 52-yard box purpose. Holder Brad Johnson couldn’t care for Dan Turk’s low snap, Johnson used to be tackled at the damaged play and the Buccaneers ran out the clock.

“Issues occur,” stated Redskins go back guy Brian Mitchell, who opened the second one part with a 100-yard kickoff go back for a landing. “No person can level a finger. That snap wasn’t there. However we had numerous alternatives in that sport. It shouldn’t have come all the way down to that.”

Darrell Inexperienced and Shaun King hug after Tampa Bay’s playoff win in 2000. (Scott Wheeler/Reuters)

2.) Jan. 14, 2006, Divisional Spherical: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10

Six years later, the Redskins avenged their playoff loss to the Buccaneers with a win at Tampa Bay within the wild-card spherical, putting in a divisional spherical showdown at Seattle. With a raucous house crowd at the back of them, the Seahawks restricted a banged-up Clinton Portis to 41 yards on 17 carries and overcame the lack of Shaun Alexander, who suffered a concussion overdue within the first quarter.

“You’ll pat your self at the again and say, ‘Task smartly accomplished,’” Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss, who had 103 receiving yards and a touchdown, said after the game. “But there’s always going to be some emptiness in your heart knowing you got so close and didn’t make it.”

The Seahawks won the following week to advance to clinch their first NFC title before losing Super Bowl XL to the Steelers. The Redskins haven’t sniffed the Super Bowl since.

3.) May 13, 2009, Second Round Game 7: Penguins 6, Capitals 2

Two days after forcing a Game 7 in their second round series with a Game 6 overtime win in Pittsburgh, the Capitals laid an egg at home. Sidney Crosby opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the first period and Craig Adams scored eight seconds later to stun the Verizon Center crowd. The Penguins built a 5-0 lead before Alex Ovechkin scored late in the second period.

“It was definitely anticlimactic,” Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It certainly wasn’t the way I would have envisioned it, scripted it, you know, whether we won or lost. … Usually you have one or two players who have an off night, but not 15. I don’t know how it happened, why it happened, but it did.”

Crosby finished with two goals and an assists for the Penguins, who went on to defeat the Red Wings for their third Stanley Cup title.

The Capitals’ bench reacts after losing Game 7. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

4.) May 12, 2012, Second Round Game 7: Rangers 2, Capitals 1

After alternating wins through the first six games of their series, the Capitals and Rangers returned to Madison Square Garden for Game 7. Brad Richards scored less than two minutes after the opening faceoff and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 23 shots in New York’s win.

“It’s terrible feeling now. All I can say, we do our best and it’s probably best team I played,” Ovechkin said after the game, which was the 13th out of Washington’s 14 playoff games that year decided by one goal. “You know, group of guys and atmosphere, everybody was — it’s unbelievable to play and I hope everybody gonna stay here ’til next year. It’s hard.”

5.) Oct. 12, 2012, NLDS Game 5: Cardinals 9, Nationals 7

The Nationals led 6-0 after three innings and 7-5 entering the ninth, but they couldn’t finish off the defending World Series champions at Nationals Park despite being one strike away. Daniel Descalso and Pete bleepin’ Kozma had consecutive two-out, two-run singles off Drew Storen during St. Louis’s four-run ninth inning.

“There’s a bad taste in my mouth,” Storen said. “It’s going to stay there for a couple months, and it’s probably never going to leave.”

“You can see the see finish line and taste it,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “You’re an out or two or a pitch or two away. And you don’t win it. You got to get all 27 outs before you can pack up the bats. We don’t know what to do tomorrow. It’s Saturday, and we don’t have a game.”

Nationals players and fans watch the final pitch of the 2012 season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

6.) May 8, 2015, Second Round Game 5: Rangers 2, Capitals 1 (OT) 

Leading the series 3-1, the Capitals took a 1-0 lead midway through the third period at Madison Square Garden on a Curtis Glencross goal, which came after officials waved off an goal by Joel Ward for incidental contact with Lundqvist. Washington was still protecting its 1-0 lead in the final two minutes when Chris Kreider fired a shot that deflected off Brooks Orpik’s skate and past Braden Holtby.

Ryan McDonagh scored the game-winner 10 minutes into the first overtime, keeping the Rangers’ slim hopes alive.

“We’re okay right now,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “We knew we’d see their best effort today, and we did. I don’t think they’ve seen ours yet. Hopefully they’ll see ours.”

7.) May 10, 2015, Second Round Game 6: Rangers 4, Capitals 3

The Rangers didn’t see Washington’s best effort in Game 6. Instead New York built a 4-1 lead at Verizon Center and held on to force a Game 7 after the Capitals late third-period rally by the Capitals came up short.

“We thought we’d come in tonight and obviously the goal was to knock them out and move on,” Washington forward Tom Wilson said. “But that’s adversity. That’s going to happen. We’re on a little bit of a different route than we imagined and we hoped for, but we’ve got to take the adversity and turn it into something great.”

Ovechkin, meanwhile, made a guarantee after the loss.

“We’re going to come back and win the series,” he said. “We’re going to play our game, and we’re going to come back and we’re going to play Montreal or Tampa.”

Carl Hagelin and the Rangers upended the Capitals in Game 6. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

8.) May 13, 2015, Second Round Game 7: Rangers 2, Capitals 1 (OT)

Ovechkin’s guarantee fell flat. Derek Stepan scored 11:24 into the first overtime, giving New York its 10th straight win in an elimination game at Madison Square Garden and sending the Capitals packing shy of the Eastern Conference finals yet again. The Rangers became the first team to overcome 3-1 series deficits in three consecutive seasons.

“When you lose in overtime like this, Game 7, it’s an empty feeling,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. “I thought we deserved better as a team.”

“You saw two very good teams go nose-to-nose, with just inches, an inch here, an inch there,” Trotz said. “I think everybody here probably predicted seven games, and you got it.”

9.) Oct. 11, 2016, NLDS Game 4: Dodgers 6, Nationals 5

With a chance to clinch a trip to the NLCS on the road, the Nationals chased Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning with three two-out runs to tie the game, but Chase Utley put Los Angeles ahead for good with an RBI single off Blake Treinen in the eighth.

“Man, that’s what baseball is all about right there,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said after the loss at Dodger Stadium. “A matter of will.”

With Max Scherzer scheduled to start on full rest back home in D.C. for the decisive Game 5, Washington fans had to still like the Nationals’ chances of advancing, history be damned.

Andrew Toles scores the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a single by Chase Utley. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

10.) Oct. 13, 2016, NLDS Game 5: Dodgers 4, Nationals 3

Scherzer surrendered the game-tying home run to Joc Pederson on his 99th pitch before Baker went to his bullpen in the seventh. Five Nationals relievers combined to allow three more runs in the inning, as Los Angeles built a 4-1 lead.

Washington made things interesting with two runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to one. The Nationals had the tying and winning runs aboard with one out in the ninth before Kershaw, working on one day’s rest, replaced closer Kenley Jansen, who was out of gas after throwing 51 pitchers over two-plus innings. Kershaw got Daniel Murphy to pop out and then struck out Wilmer Difo for his first career major league save.

“We just came up short,” Baker said. “I’m proud of my guys, of how they played this year.”

The Dodgers celebrate as Bryce Harper walks off the field after Game 5. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

11.) May 10, 2017, Second Round Game 7: Penguins 2, Capitals 0

Bryan Rust broke a scoreless tie 8:49 into the second period and that was all the support Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury would need, as Pittsburgh improved to 9-1 in postseason series against Washington.

“You wonder how much disappointment you have to put yourself through before you can find a way to get the job done,” forward T.J. Oshie said, speaking for every Capitals player and fan.

“It’s just extreme disappointment,” Washington defenseman Karl Alzner said. “There are times when you know you’re not the best team in the playoffs. But we honestly thought we were the best team in the playoffs, and showed flashes of it. But when you don’t even get past the second round, it’s extreme disappointment.”

12.) May 15, 2017, Second Round Game 7: Celtics 115, Wizards 105

Welcome to the party, Wizards. Three days after John Wall forced a Game 7 with a buzzer-beating three-pointer at home, Celtics reserve Kelly Olynyk scored 26 points off the bench to carry Boston into the third round.

Wall, who talked openly all season about reaching the Eastern Conference finals being the Wizards’ goal, did not score in the final 19 minutes of the deciding game.

“It’s not a satisfied season to me,” Wall said after Washington’s NBA franchise fell short of the conference finals for a 38th consecutive year.

Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. walk off the court after the Wizards’ Game 7 loss to the Celtics. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

13.) Oct. 12, 2017, NLDS Game 5: Cubs 9, Nationals 8

One of the strangest games in Nationals history ended in familiar fashion, with a season-ending loss at Nationals Park.

“That was the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Jayson Werth said after Baker lost a pair of replay challenges, Matt Wieters played the worst defensive game of his career and the Cubs scored nine runs despite going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. “So many things were off the wall. Maybe I’ll go home and watch it again and want to torture myself.”

“Just a gut punch again,” Scherzer said. “Here we are in Game 5, play our hearts out, everybody lays it on the line, everybody’s fighting doing everything they can. It was a nail-biter of a game again. It just sucks . . . This game’s cruel sometimes . . . What a series.”

What a drought.

Read more on the Capitals:

This Capitals team could be different, because its path to get here was harder

The Capitals better win this in six games

‘The goalie is everything for us’: The Capitals’ Game 5 triumph started and ended with Braden Holtby

Penguins now in desperation mode — but they’ve succeeded in these spots before

Caps fans go nuts on National Portrait Gallery steps, chanting ‘One more game!’

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