1998 STANLEY CUP FINALS
Caps Triumph Over Letdowns of Past
For the 24 years of their existence, the Capitals have been a franchise that has regularly broken the hearts of its fans. But it seems the hockey gods have begun to look favorably upon the Capitals, and for the first time,
they have a chance to win the
Post File Photo
Past Capitals Playoff Recaps
1996 | 1995 | 1987 | 1994 | 1988 | 1992 | 1993 | 1990
After 16 Years, Caps Earn Respect
Caps' Dreams Take Flight
For seven agonizing seasons prior to 1990, the Caps had failed to win two playoff series and advance out of their Patrick Division. Two thrilling overtime wins over the New York Rangers allowed the Caps to break the streak, thanks mostly to the surprising play of John Druce, who made hockey history with 12 playoff goals.
Bruins Sweep Caps|
The Boston Bruins showed their experience in sweeping the Caps and moving on to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in three years. "One big roller-coaster ride, but it's been the most successful season," Capitals defenseman Scott Stevens said.
THOMAS BOSWELL: Despite Sweep, Some Admiration
1996: CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS
On and On It Went, but the End Came Too Soon
It happened once before, in 1987 a memorable four-overtime game that many fans thought was a once-in-
John McDonnell/Post File Photo
a-lifetime event. It wasn't. On April 24-25, 1996, the Caps went four overtimes again. Finally, at 2:22 a.m., Petr Nedved of the Penguins ended the third-longest game, giving Pittsburgh a 3-2 win and Caps fans a new nightmare.
1987: CAPITALS vs. ISLANDERS
In the opening round of the 1987 playoffs, the Capitals built a 3-1 series lead over the New York Islanders, only to see the Islanders come back and force a Game 7. The epic finale would go four overtimes before Pat LaFontaine's goal gave the Islanders a 3-2 victory in what was at the time the fifth-longest game in NHL history. There were 68 minutes 47 seconds of overtime play.
After Four Overtimes, Caps Are Left Wanting
THOMAS BOSWELL: Suspense, Then Inevitability
1994: CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS
Finally, Ghosts of Caps' Playoff Past Put to Rest
The Capitals sought a change 47 games into the 1994 season, replacing Coach Terry Murray with Jim Schoenfeld (pictured). The Caps also added Joe Juneau, who had three goals and four assists in the series as the Caps advanced to the second round with a 4-2 series win over Pittsburgh. Washington built a 3-1 series lead, but this time, rode counter to its playoff past and held it.
MICHAEL WILBON: A 'Special Night'
1988: CAPITALS vs. FLYERS
Hunter's Goal Helps Spur Caps Into Second Round
Post columnist Tony Kornheiser has not hesitated to criticize the playoff failures of the Capitals over the years, but in 1988, he praised their comeback against Philadelphia. The Caps survived to become just the fifth NHL team to win a seven-game playoff series after trailing three games to one. Dale Hunter (pictured, left) assisted on the first goal before scoring the game-winning goal in overtime.
Hunter's Second-Period Assist Was Crucial
Stanley Cup Front
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