The countdown to the end of the regular season is already in underway as the Caps are in playoff rhythm. After beating the Coyotes by 4-1, the Capitals won all the three consecutive games at Verizon Center. In addition, they extended their home-factor which was very important to the team this season: 14-straight wins at home to set a franchise record.
In the total, Washington is four games undefeated, when they beat the Lightning by 5-3 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. T.J. Oshie noted a hat trick and the Capitals reached 100 points then. When the homestretch began, the first foe was the Flames, which the Caps beat by 4-2. After that, was a come from behind victory against the Blue Jackets by 2-1 (SO). And then, ending the homestretch, a 4-1 victory against the Coyotes.
Saturday, the Capitals scored first with Alex Ovechkin from his office, capitalizing on a power play. After a scoreless second period, Arizona tried to sketch a reaction at the second half of the third period with a Peter Holland goal, but the Caps managed to get a victory yet in the regulation.
Dan Winnik put the Capitals in front again by 2-1, Justin Williams fired a rocket and Winnik scored again, now taking advantage of their empty net to set up the final numbers to the game.
The Capitals are still playing good hockey at the crucial moment of the regular season. The final games are important because they show us that this is the team which is going to the playoffs. Also, Washington enjoyed the home-factor during this season and that might be the differential. The Capitals have now five straight games on the road, a good test before the playoffs. After that, there will be three games remaining (two at home) before the playoffs. The next game is on March 28, against Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, Minnesota).
Minnesota Wild (March 28)
Colorado Avalanche (March 29)
Arizona Coyotes (March 31)
Columbus Blue Jackets (April 02)
Toronto Maple Leafs (April 04)
Photos by Mel Abernethy