The Caps are still showing no killer instinct. They're showing a great deal of tenaciousness, but that can only take you so far.
They're really hanging Varlamov out to dry. Aside from the one game the other day, he's been playing fabulously. The defense, however, is allowing way too many shots. They're allowing 38 shots per game, and that's just not a recipe for success. Even with Varly's 91% saves, that's quite a lot of goals.
Answer: more pressure on the Pens. Take the game to them. And don't be so careless with the puck. And play the entire game. Trying their hardest, the caps might well be the best team in the league, but they don't play that way consistently.
I'm not a huge basketball fan (I like it seeing it played well, but the foul calling is too divergent from the rules (and, especially in the NBA, too inconsistent) to take all that seriously. But I watched an awful lot of games in the last running of the Bulls. Why? Because that was an amazing team that played on all cylinders almost every night. Seriously; they took off only one or two nights each season (and for some reason, it seemed like almost all of those games were against Toronto). It was the most amazing team display in sports that I've seen. (Yes, I'm not nearly old enough to have seen Russell's Celtics or the 30's or 50's Yankees; I suspect those teams were similar.)
The only thing close that I've seen was the Patriots run through the league season before last. That was also very impressive (even if they did run up the score unnecessarily a few times; that, however, bothers me only a little at the pro level).
Anyway, I wish these Caps could learn from those teams about playing their hardest all the time.