Capitals Dig In After Stadium Series Loss: ‘We’re Running Out Of Room Here’
The Washington Capitals said that the Stadium Series loss was far from impressive, and that it’s time to put their words into action and get back to their winning ways.
RALEIGH, N.C. — As they took to the ice outdoors at Carter-Finley Stadium, the Washington Capitals saw themselves get outskated and, ultimately, outplayed in a 4-1 Stadium Series loss that again, spoke volumes and sent a direct message to the team that this kind of play won't cut it if they want to be a playoff team come April.
Washington is now in the throes of a four-game losing streak and have won just three of the last 10 games. Not only are they out of playoff position, but the Capitals remain without their captain, Alex Ovechkin, who is away from the team indefinitely following the death of his father. John Carlson also remains on long-term injured reserve.
"We need to play playoff-style hockey," T.J. Oshie said. "We're missing the big man, we're missing John, we need to play playoff-style hockey with the lineup we got to just start winning games."
Tom Wilson, who scored the lone goal in his return to the lineup, said that he's noticed some patterns when it comes to the team. It starts with not chasing the game and surrendering the first goal but also playing with more speed, making tape-to-tape passes and taking good care of the puck. And of course, that'll all come with a belief in each other and a better approach to games.
"We got to get our confidence back, we got to get our swagger back a little bit. It's tough when you lose a couple in a row, but we're gonna regroup here and try and get the team together here and build on it, because there's no time to waste. It's an important time here and every point matters, so this isn't good enough, obviously."
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For Lars Eller, it comes down to simplifying the game and getting back to the basics.
"It's just poor execution right now," he put it bluntly.
Nicklas Backstrom agreed, saying that he is seeing flaws at both ends of the ice on a nightly basis.
"How our game is being played, it doesn't look good, that's for sure," Nicklas Backstrom said, adding, "I think [we need to work on] everything, to be honest. D-zone, neutral zone, offensive zone. It's not working."
The Capitals know, though, that actions speak louder than words. Oshie said that the team is "running out of room" with just 24 games left and the East only getting stronger down the stretch, and now, it's about kicking things into a higher gear and not making excuses.
"Missing our No. 1 forward and No. 1 defenseman, that doesn't help, but the guys in the lineup are more than capable of getting some wins. We may not dominate every game, but we're very capable of getting wins, and we haven't been playing good enough to do that," Oshie said, adding, "Once we start feeling it, we can make some high-end plays, but things got to be simple and everyone's got to get on the same page."