The Washington Capitals have a simple goal -- they want to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. If they want to keep that dream alive, though, they'll have to find a way to beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the first-round Eastern Conference series Wednesday night.
Washington won last year's Stanley Cup with stifling defense, timely goals and solid play all around. Plus, the Capitals trailed in all four series but rebounded to win. In this series, though, the Metropolitan Division champions often have been outplayed by Carolina, and that's why it's tied at three games apiece.
Carolina's ferocious physical play has made it tough for Washington to establish its offense and clear the puck on defense. The Capitals have done better in these areas in the past two games, but the Hurricanes came through again and scored a 5-2 victory in Game 6 on Monday at home to even up the series.