Beat Winnipeg and Caps are right back in race

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Technically, tonight’s game in Winnipeg isn’t a must-win for Washington. That being said, the Capitals really, really need to win it.

A regulation loss would see the Jets take a nine-point lead over the Caps in the Southeast Division. Washington would also remain five points back of the Hurricanes and Rangers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

A regulation win though? The Caps would be right back in the race for the Southeast, five points back of the Jets, with Washington holding a game in hand.

And let’s face it — the Jets are eminently fallible, as evidenced by their minus-10 goal differential, the worst of any team currently in a playoff position.

Add to the equation the Hurricanes are suddenly a mess, the Lightning have been one of the worst teams in the league since a decent start, and the Panthers are a non-factor, and there’s an opening here for the Caps.

They have to beat Winnipeg tonight though. Just like they did last night, shutting out the Jets, 4-0, at the MTS Centre.

Related: ‘Biggest week’ coming up for desperate Caps