With his Capitals on the verge of yet another playoff elimination, Alex Ovechkin says he is to blame.
Despite playing against a seriously short-handed Penguins squad, supposedly dead in the water without their concussed captain Sidney Crosby, Ovechkin and the mighty Caps failed to take advantage, losing Game 4 Wednesday, 3-2 in Pittsburgh.
"I didn't play my game tonight. Me personally, I have to play much better," Ovechkin told reporters. "I didn't control the puck well. I make stupid decisions. Unfortunately, it happened."
Ovechkin recorded just two shots on goal while being called for two penalties. He has failed to score for the fourth time in five playoff games.
"Our top players didn't play as well as they needed to," Capitals coach, Barry Trotz told reporters Wednesday.
Sadly for Ovechkin, Washington's list of Stanley Cup shortcomings runs long and is a common narrative when the calendar turns to April.
Should the Capitals lose this weekend, it would be Pittsburgh's ninth series win against Washington in 10 chances all time, including the third time in the Crosby-Ovechkin era. It's the same predicament they were in this time last year when the Penguins opened a 3-1 series lead and won in six games.
The Caps infamously haven't advanced to a conference final since the 1997-98 season, despite boasting one of the most potent lineups in the NHL routinely through the last decade.