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Capitals Dig In Amid Five-Game Losing Streak: ‘Gotta Turn This Around Now’

The Washington Capitals feel that they improved on Tuesday, but know they need to avoid frustration and clean things up to snap a five-game losing streak at a critical point in the season.



WASHINGTON — It was another game where the Washington Capitals felt they played well enough to win. Despite a couple of mistakes that proved costly and turned into goals against, Washington sustained pressure and pushed hard, especially in the third period. However, the same narrative played out, where the team couldn't find twine and fell 3-1 in a key game against the Detroit Red Wings, who have now tied D.C. in the standings as both teams sit out of playoff position.

With the Capitals' losing streak now at five, Washington is seeing a lot of mistakes and issues take center stage as the team looks to get back in playoff position with the margin for error shrinking with each game down the stretch.

"We're pressing, pressing, pressing, then you hate to see it, right? You make one mistake or somebody makes a mistake or they get a bounce, and it's in the back of your net," Nic Dowd said. "It's a little deflating at times, because I think we pushed pretty hard tonight and guys did the right things and played the right way. God dammit, we had so many pucks that were sitting right in the crease and on the goal line and you're kind of thinking, 'Can we not get a bounce here?' I think everything is magnified at this point in the season; where we are in the standings, everything."

Washington has scored under two goals in 12 of the last 17 games, including five of the last six. It doesn't help that Alex Ovechkin remains out indefinitely, but the rest of the team is struggling as several players find themselves in the midst of lengthy droughts. Not only that, but the power play has been struggling, too, and with a five-minute major penalty to capitalize on, Washington could only get one goal and three shots.

"I mean, it feels like those kind of moments we got to somehow find a way to turn them our way and use them as momentum," Tom Wilson, who has both of Washington's lone goals over the last two games, said. "Just seems kind of like the bounces are going that way, but that's hockey. We got to find a way to turn them our way."

Amid the losing streak, there is mounting frustration as the team fails to get results or capitalize, but the Capitals are doing what they can to avoid it from boiling over. While a win could help that, it's also about perseverance and regaining confidence.

"You can't quit. That's what frustration tries to do to you. It tries to break you and make you quit, so that's one thing we definitely can't do. It was another game where I feel like we played well and I feel like we should've won, but you can't keep saying that loss after loss," Jensen said. "Something's gotta change. I know confidence for a lot of guys might be an issue right now and we're getting our opportunities, but we're just struggling to put the puck into the net. Something that each guy's gotta figure out and we got to figure it out as a team."

"We've got to win the next game," Dowd said bluntly. "That's it."

At the end of the day, the knows that capitalizing and staying positive will be a priority and is what will ultimately snap the skid. However, it's easier said than done.

"I mean there's no time to hang our heads here. You know, I think the guys came together today and worked hard but it's not easy to win in this league," Wilson said. We got to find a way here and you know, there's a good chunk of games left… we gotta turn this around right now, start putting together some wins."

Washington has a major opportunity to take advantage of Thursday's home game, which comes against the struggling Anaheim Ducks, and for them, it's a playoff game with high stakes that they can't afford to lose.

"Thursday's game, we've got to treat as the most important game of the year," Darcy Kuemper said. "You win the first one, and then you kind of go from there. That's the only way you can turn it around. You can't get too caught up int he negativity. You've just got to fucs on the next game and you win one, then you win two, and all of the sudden, everyone starts feeling a little bit better and things can turn around pretty quickly."

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