S0metimes, the worst part of rereading a story is that while you already know the outcome, you futilely hope for a different result.
For a moment, however, it seemed that the Washington Capitals would defy logic and rewrite a tired narrative. The Boston Bruins took three separate leads during Game 6 of the teams’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series Sunday, but instead of sulking as they are wont to do, the Caps responded every time. Perhaps the final response – Alex Ovechkin’s third period goal – was the most unexpected. After Andrew Ference lifted Boston to a one-goal lead with less than 10 minutes remaining, no one would have blamed Washington for trying, yet failing to recover, but when Ovechkin’s shot squeaked past Tim Thomas, the air of desperation inside Verizon Center was replaced by one of confidence. It was a new and unexpected plot twist.
Yet, it was too good to be true. Tyler Seguin bested Braden Holtby in overtime and once again, the Caps failed to close out a playoff series on home ice in heartbreaking fashion. We have seen this story before.
While Sunday’s gut-wrenching defeat was an all-too-familiar rerun, what is not is Wednesday’s Game 7. Unlike in the recent past, the series did not end Sunday. Also, for the first time, this current collection of Caps will play a Game 7 away from Verizon Center, the site of several disappointments. Washington will have another opportunity to write a new chapter, but if it fails, the same old story gets placed back on the shelf for another season.