The Washington Capitals are on the brink of another painful playoff exit. Here are three stats that help explain why:
.867 — Braden Holtby‘s save percentage in four games against the Penguins. No, it doesn’t help when his own teammates score on him, but Holtby has been badly outplayed by Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, who owns a .937 save percentage in the series. Holtby also had his struggles in the first round against Toronto, but he bounced back with two solid starts to finish off the Leafs. If the Caps are going to make a comeback against Pittsburgh, he’ll need to do the same.
15 — Times shorthanded in the series. The Penguins have only scored twice on the power play, but one of them was Justin Schultz‘s game-winner on Wednesday. Running around and taking too many penalties also gets a team out of its rhythm, as evidenced by last night’s first period when the Caps took two minors and looked totally out of sorts.
0 — Points for Andre Burakovsky against the Pens. Ditto for Tom Wilson. And Lars Eller has just one assist. Scoring depth was supposed to be Washington’s most improved area. Instead, it’s a major problem, just like it was last year. For all the heat Alex Ovechkin is bound to take if the Caps blow it again, a number of his teammates aren’t pulling their weight.