News, notes and quotes from the Capitals’ hair-raising, breath-taking 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at Verizon Center (stick tap to research analyst Rich Goldberg):
Positive sign: Per Elias Sports Bureau, teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series hold an all-time series record of 445-200 (69 percent), including a perfect 8-0 in Round 1 this spring.
“Game 1 is really important, but it’s amazing how, opposed to 10 years ago, how well road teams are doing,” Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I think no matter what building you’re playing in, it’s kind of an even playing field.”
Don’t count your chickens: In their eight previous playoff meetings with the Penguins the Caps have won Game 1 seven times but are 1-6 in those series.
Familiar territory: Since 2001, the Penguins are 0-7 when starting a playoff series on the road.
Powerless: Despite leading the NHL with eight power-play goals in Rounds 1, the Caps (0-for-4) and Pens (0-for-2) were held silent in Game 1. It marked the first time this post-season the Pens were held without a power play goal.
The Caps are now 0-for-14 since Game 3 against Philadelphia. They started that series 8-for-17 in the first three games.
By the numbers: The Caps improved to 38-2-2 this season when scoring first; 23-0-1 record when leading after the first; and 29-7-8 in one-goal goal games.
OT history: The Capitals are now 24-30 in playoff overtimes, 11-13 on home ice. In the Alex Ovechkin era they are 10-13 in playoff OTs, 5-6 at home.
Trickster: T.J. Oshie became the third player in Caps history to record a playoff hat trick with an overtime goal, joining Nicklas Backstrom (Game 2, 2010 conference quarterfinal against Montreal) and Dino Ciccarelli (Game 1, 1990 division semifinal against New Jersey).
Oshie now has six goals and one assist in six games against the Penguins this season.
Leave it to Ovi: Alex Ovechkin on T.J. Oshie's wraparound goal: "Great effort by Osh. I think in overtime every shot is a good shot."
Hitman: Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with seven hits and his 35 hits this postseason ranks fourth in the NHL.
Bura-cuda: Andre Burakovsky now has three goals and two assists this season against Pittsburgh.
At the top: Goalie Braden Holtby became the Caps’ winningest goalie in playoff history with his 21st win.