Since the Washington Capitals returned to the playoffs in 2007-08 after a five-year absence, they have taken every series since to a decisive seventh game. The Caps will attempt to break that trend in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens Monday night.
"It's not just me, but the whole organization wants to win this right now and not go back to Washington," Ovechkin said.
Washington's recent playoff history also point to another trend: victories on the road in Game 6. The Caps beat the Philadelphia Flyers (2007-08), New York Rangers (2008-09) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (2008-09) in the sixth game of those series.
Washington also has the another statistical edge since the road team has won all but one game in this series.
"You have to talk to some teacher or some doctors about the effects on the brain [by] the crowd," Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said. "I'm no expert. For whatever reason, that's the way it's been."
Entering play Monday, teams are 4-4 in games in which they could clinch the series. The Caps missed an opportunity to move on to face the Philadelphia Flyers when they fell, 2-1, in Game 5 on Friday, although they still hold a 3-2 series lead.
"The fourth victory is always by the far the toughest," Boudreau said. "Teams have been together so longer. Some of the guys skate with each other in August and now they are looking months later and they don't want to go home. Your backs are against the wall and you don't want it to end."
Maybe not all the players in tonight's game, however, have spent months on the same ice. The Canadiens recalled P.K. Subban, a 20-year-old highly touted defenseman who has played just two games in the NHL.
"I don't think you need to adjust a whole lot," Gorges said. "There would be seven [defensemen] instead of six. It gives you an opportunity to focus on your job, your role. You do what you do best."
Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek is likely to miss his third consecutive game due to what was described as a virus.
"He brings an energy to the game," Cammalleri said of Subban. "He has some good composure and has a tremendous skillset."