The Capitals are hoping a deep breath of crisp Canadian air will snap them out of a funk in which theyve lost five of their last six and 11 of their last 16, dropping them to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Capitals trail the Florida Panthers by two points in the Southeast Division and tonight begin a string of three straight games against Canadian opponents. The Montreal Canadiens visit the Verizon Center Friday night, followed by a Capitals visit to Toronto on Saturday night.The Capitals are 9-4-1 against teams from Canada this season and are 8-0-1 in their last nine games against teams north of the border. Washington has outscored its Canadian opponents 28-14 and pitched three shutouts during that span, all on the road.
Despite their recent slide, the Caps are still within two points of the division lead and two points behind eighth-place Toronto.
Its amazing that as bad as weve played, were still in it, Caps center Jeff Halpern told reporters. For us not to seize these opportunities, shame on us. With efforts like (Monday nights 5-0 loss in Carolina), were not going to do anything."
The Caps are hoping a date with the resurgent Senators reverses their fortunes. The Caps have won six of their last seven against the Sens and are 13-3-3 against them over the past five seasons.
That may not be enough to deter the Sens, who have rebounded nicely from a seven-game losing streak by going 4-0-1 in their last five. The Sens rolled over Tampa, Florida and the Isles by a combined score of 16-2 on their recent road trip and have moved into the seventh slot in the East, five points ahead of Toronto.