Friday night, facing the Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals recorded their third consecutive loss. And it has that team, in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, asking plenty of questions and searching for answers on how to end this sudden slide.
The Capitals got off to a slow start, with only four shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, falling behind by a goal. The deficit increased by one each period. In the end, they were unable to get anything going offensively in a 3-0 loss to the Hurricanes.
In terms of the playoff race, the Capitals sit seventh in the East, seven points up on the Boston Bruins, who were victorious in New Jersey.
It’s enough of a cushion to withstand a small slide. Anything greater, and teams out of the playoff picture might be able to catch up.
“You have to face reality,” Nicklas Backstrom told the Washington Post. “If you’re not good, you’re not good. We’ve got to look ourselves in the mirrors and know what we did wrong and we’ve got to correct it, because this is not going to be [enough] in the playoffs either. If we make it there.”