The Washington Capitals have a new, subtle message for their fans as they head into Wednesday night's do-or-die Game 6 - "Keep calm, and rock the red."
The slogan has been pasted on t-shirts, which are on sale at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, as the team prepares for an elimination game at Verizon Center against the New York Rangers.
As usual, the team's game day practice in Arlington was surrounded by faithful fans, but on Wednesday morning, the mood at Kettler was a little more tense than usual. The fans and players know that a loss ends the Capitals season, but there's still optimism abound.
"It's kind of the way the entire season has gone," Capitals fan Mary Henry said. "They are going to win."
However, there's one other feeling that's permeating Capitals nation: nervousness.
"I am far from calm, and I always rock the red," Capitals fan Matt Bottegal said.
The Capitals are trying to rebound from a Game 5 loss in New York in which the Rangers scored the game-tying goal with 6.6 seconds remaining in the 3rd period. New York went on to win in overtime, taking a 3-2 series lead.
This Eastern Conference semifinal series is the 11th time the Capitals have fallen behind 3-2 in a series in franchise history. They lost the series eight of those times.
"It's going to be a tough road," Capitals fan Colin Mace said.
However, the thrill of Wednesday's game being all or nothing for Washington has hockey fans admitting that there's nothing more exciting than this kind of pressure.
"There is nothing better than a series coming to a Game 6 and ultimately a Game 7," Jeremy Newkirk, who wore his Capitals jersey to work, said.
Faceoff at Verizon Center is set for 7:30 p.m. The winner of this series advances to take on the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Devils defeated Philadelphia in five games to earn their spot in the conference championship.