WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Caps’ hopes for a series sweep were dashed in their 4-3 loss to the Rangers Monday, but the chance for a short series in the interest of sparing their legs for a deep playoff run is still alive.

Having at least one short series is widely regarded as essential to making a long run playoff run. Last season, the Los Angeles Kings had three of them, winning each series in 5 games or less, on the way to winning the Stanley Cup in six.

“You have to be able to eliminate teams early,” the Examiner’s Brian McNally told Lavar and Dukes Tuesday.

With a 2-1 series lead and another chance to steal one on the road, the Caps can still force the Rangers to the brink of elimination by Game 5, with a victory at the Garden on Wednesday.

“You can’t lose that overtime game that then makes you play another 60, and even though you win the series, you’re still kind of screwed because you’re banged up going into the next series,” McNally continued.

“And maybe this isn’t the series. Maybe the Rangers are too good a team and you’re just not going to be able to put them away in the four or five games,” McNally went on. “I’m just not sure that that’s realistic going up a team that was in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and that many people picked to win the Stanley Cup before the season.”

Although, winning quickly isn’t a feeling Capitals fans are all too familiar with, as they’ve watched their team get bounced from the playoffs in a Game 7 three out of their last four appearances, dating back to the 2008-09 season (Penguins – ’09, Canadiens – ’10, Rangers – ’12).

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