Early exits have become an annual routine for these Washington Capitals and each time the elimination brings a little more disappointment, a little more frustration especially from the players who have experienced most or all of them.

With Monday’s 5-0 loss to the Rangers in Game 7, Washington is now 2-5 in winner-take-all contests during the Ovechkin era.

“Lesson? Maybe learn how to play in the playoffs, I would say,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “It’s the same thing as previous years, I would say. We came back regular season then playoff came and we’re not good enough. I can just talk for myself and my effort. Not good enough. No excuses. It’s just a bad effort.”

This particular brand of defeat, a thorough drubbing by New York, in what had previously been a tight contest left players stunned. The Capitals went from up two games to none in this series to being shut out in the final two contests by Henrik Lundqvist, who turned away 62 shots in Game 6 and 7 combined.

“We threw the kitchen sink at him at times and he stood there and defended,” Mike Green said. “He’s a great goaltender we knew that, we talked about it before the series how to beat him and the times that we did score was what we talked about. At times I thought we kind of got away from that. I’m at a loss for words.”

Said Matt Hendricks: “It’s tough to come up with answers when we lose 5-0. We had a game plan, we had a good game plan, set up for the series, set up for tonight. We just didn’t execute it.”

More to come Tuesday on the series loss to the Rangers and the end of the season. The Capitals will be off Tuesday and will hold break down day on Wednesday.

Post Sports coverage of Game 7
Caps season ends with a thud in 5-0 loss to Rangers
Wise: Will the Caps and the Young Guns ever get over the hump?
Another early exit for Ovechkin
Lundqvist silences Caps