Discussion

How Caps can pass resiliency test

Updated: May 9, 2012, 11:42 AM ET
By Craig Custance

Rob Scuderi doesn't remember the exact words or who said it. Maybe it was Dan Bylsma. Maybe Sidney Crosby.

But in 2009, during the Stanley Cup finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a Game 5 loss that could have been devastating for a team trying to break through against a veteran Detroit Red Wings squad that was attempting to cement a place in hockey history.

Pittsburgh was blown out at Joe Louis Arena, losing 5-0. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled. Pavel Datsyuk was back in the lineup after missing 18 days with a foot injury and looked dominant. It was a crushing loss that put Pittsburgh on the brink of elimination, down 3-2 against a team that knew how to close out a series.

After the loss, the Penguins looked around that visitors locker room and made a statement.

"The message was, 'Let's come back here,'" said Scuderi, now a key part of the Los Angeles Kings' defense playing in the Western Conference finals. "Everyone felt the same way."

Scuderi provided a glimpse into the psyche of a hockey player. While we overanalyze every moment of every game during the postseason, they don't. They move on much better than we do.

"I think we got over it pretty fast," he said. "You're in the playoffs. You can't really think much past the next game. We got over it and in the end, it's just worth one notch."

Scuderi's Penguins won the next two and hoisted the Stanley Cup on enemy ice.

The stakes are nearly as high in D.C. tonight, as the Washington Capitals try to put a devastating overtime loss in Game 5 behind them. The attitude is very much the same. Get this series back to New York.

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