For the first time in a long time, the Capitals enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in a relaxed state of mind.
Winners of two straight games for the first time since before Thanksgiving, the Capitals were given their first day off Sunday by new coach Dale Hunter.
Weve been playing a lot of hockey, Hunter said. Its been every other day for eight or nine days now.
The Caps are 3-3-0 since Hunter took over but have won three of their last four games and are beginning to show signs of life offensively, scoring 16 goals in their last four games after netting just two in their first two under Hunter.
Weve been doing video, dissecting how were going to play and establishing a new identity for our team, said center Brooks Laich. Its encouraging to start seeing results.
When you win everybody feels good, whether you play six minutes, 16 minutes or 26 minutes. You have pep in your step and the atmosphere around the rink is fun.
The Capitals received a much-needed boost from their power play in Friday nights 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and will try to continue that good karma Tuesday night when the Flyers come to town.
The Flyers (18-7-3) lead the Eastern Conference with 39 points, eight more than the Capitals.
We have a long way to go, Caps goaltender Tomas Vokoun said. I had confidence in this team when we were losing. When guys arent playing well the whole picture looks bad, but you now what? We have a good team and we know that. If we start doing the right things it should all work out.