WASHINGTON — Longtime play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati believed with all his being that, in 22 years covering the Capitals, this 2015-16 iteration was the best he had ever seen, that this year’s team was “the one.”
And so, he was as disheartened as any fan when the Penguins emerged victorious in overtime of Game 6 Tuesday night, to bounce the Capitals from the playoffs in the second round, like so many Capitals teams before them.
McNally: Heartbreak Again for Caps in OT
Beninati took a moment during CSN Mid-Atlantic’s post-game coverage to share his anguish of another season now gone.
“The wound obviously is very fresh and we’ve seen this far too often, so pardon me if I sound crushed,” he said. “I am. I am crushed, because I believed there were a couple of instances in the third period where the Capitals defied death — they did.
“And once you get into overtime, it’s anybody’s game, it’s a roll of the dice, but the longer the overtime goes between these teams — especially on a night when you lose Karl Alzner — the longer it goes, it favors the team that’s faster.”
“And the team that was faster from the outset in this game was Pittsburgh,” he said. “They were taking away the boards magically in the first period. The Capitals couldn’t get out of their own zone. It seemed like time after time after time, somebody in black and gold was in their way.
“But the way Washington rallied is a sign that this is a different team. Please, do not say the word ‘collapse’ to me. Do not say the word ‘choke’ to me. This is not one of those. This is a very good Pittsburgh team that’s moving on to a conference final.”