With four tough road games up next on the schedule, the postseason dream could be all but shattered by the end of the week.
“It’s the biggest week for us,” captain Alex Ovechkin said Sunday after beating Buffalo, 5-3, at the Verizon Center. “We can end the season this week (or) we can continue to fight for the playoffs.”
Washington plays Tuesday in Pittsburgh against the red-hot Penguins, then has back-to-back games Thursday and Friday in Winnipeg, and finishes the trip Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the desperate Rangers.
The Caps haven’t been very good away from home this season, winning just four times in 13 games. If that trend doesn’t change, they’ll almost certainly miss the playoffs for the first since 2006-07. With that could come many changes, including possibly a new general manager. George McPhee has been in the position since June of 1997.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.