Barry Trotz, who coached Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season, warned after receiving his Cup ring November 26, that, yes, they have a great chance to repeat, but to do it, "you'll have to through the (bleeping) Island".
"The good news is we still have another game to play", Brind'Amour said. Oshie has been diagnosed with a broken collarbone after Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele hit him from behind on Thursday, sources told the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga.
The Capitals now have to travel back to North Carolina where they will try to get their first road win of the series.
As much of a complete effort as it was for the Capitals, it was that much of a missed opportunity for the upstart Hurricanes, who looked frazzled at times after dominating long stretches of the past two games. He had 54 points in 69 regular-season games and two points in the first round before being injured.
The Capitals meanwhile are 13-3 in their last 16 games as a favorite and 5-0 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite which points in a positive direction for them here as they return home to Capital One Arena for a pivotal matchup on Saturday. The home team has won all five games in the series.
"I don't think we're really thinking about that opponent at all right now", Washington coach Todd Reirden said Sunday.
"It was a defenseless player that was quite a distance from the boards", Reirden said. However, after clearing waivers, Smith-Pelly joined the affiliate team in Hershey, where he has played for the remainder of this season until his recall on Friday.
Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43).
National Hockey League roundup: Avs put Flames on brink with OT win
Even with an excellent blueline led by Mark Giordano , who is the Norris Trophy favorite, the Flames can't figure it out. It was a lost night in a lost playoff series in a season where they had won the second-most games in franchise history.
Ovechkin called the two losses in Raleigh "a wake-up call for all of us".
They made it 3-0 after a Backstrom stretch pass hit Ovechkin's stick and went all the way to the other end. "It's playoff hockey and yeah, we're facing elimination so we're going to be a desperate team and hopefully we play that way and we compete better than we did last game". "If you don't want to do it, don't play".
"We got way more injuries than they do", Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. He returned briefly but sat out the final two periods due to a lower-body ailment.
Smith-Pelly delivered a hit to Carolina forward Nino Niederreiter on his very first shift which brought the crowd at Capital One Arena to its feet in a standing ovation.
"I've had a couple chances", Connolly said. "The fact that he's not with us is going to be a tough void to fill, but that just should hopefully push people to get to a different level and have his back, so to speak". "So, I got pretty lucky to close my eyes and put it in".
That came after Ovechkin tied it at 1 with 9:25 remaining in the second and with 8 seconds left on a hooking minor to Teravainen.