The Washington Capitals know their position against Pittsburgh in the NHL Patrick Division finals all too well.
Just two weeks ago in the semifinal round against the New York Rangers, the 2-1 series deficit was identical, with Game 4 on tap at the Capital Centre.
"Yes, we were down 2-1 in that series but we were embarrassed [6-0] in the third game," defenseman Rod Langway said. "Actually, this is a better situation. We know what happened against the Rangers, so it's not time to start counting us out yet. We never said this would be a five-game series."
But Captain Rod and rest of the Caps do know that tonight (7:35, HTS) is the pivotal game in the series. A loss would bring the Pens within one win of clinching the best-of-seven series that heads back to the Igloo in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
"We've dealt with adversity before and we're prepared to come back and get a win in Game 4 and then anything can happen," said center Kelly Miller, who has four playoff goals. "We know how to win in their building."
In the third game of the series Sunday night, the Penguins, led by a patchwork defensive unit and great goaltending from Tom Barrasso, beat the Caps at their own low-scoring game with a 3-1 victory.
"We know that we can't beat them offensively," said Caps coach Terry Murray. "We can't match the firepower of Mario Lemieux and those players. We need to keep the shots down and the score down. It's the only way we can give ourselves a better opportunity to win."