For the third season in a row, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are facing off in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The matchup has become one of the fiercest rivalries in hockey, although the outcome has been as one-sided as the duels between the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, with the Penguins taking nine of the previous 10 playoff series the teams have played. No team in the history of the four major sports has been more dominant over an opponent they’ve faced at least 10 times in the postseason, according to Stats LLC.
With a chance to seize control of the series on Thursday night, the Capitals failed to capitalize and the Penguins tied the best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round series at two games each.
From Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby, the Capitals just can’t seem to figure out a way to stop getting derailed by Pittsburgh, which has ended their season in each of the last two years. In Game 4, captain and leading scorer Alex Ovechkin was held without a shot on goal. A lot of that had to due with his linemate Tom Wilson serving the first of a three-game suspension for an illegal check that broke the jaw of Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese. The Capitals will look to break the deadlocked series again without Wilson in Game 5 on Saturday.
Another lopsided postseason rivalry is taking place in the NBA, where the Boston Celtics have taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the Sixers seeking to prevail for the 12th time in their last 16 postseason meetings. (The 76ers technically won three straight playoff matchups in the 1950s—back when they were the Syracuse Nationals.):