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Capitals Notebook: Team Puts In Work At Well-Attended Optional Skate

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Capitals forward Nic Dowd

ARLINGTON, V.A. — After a tough loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the Washington Capitals hit the ice for an optional skate. Despite the choice, multiple players elected to take part in the practice.

Tom Wilson, Lars Eller, Martin Fehervary, Dmitry Orlov and more were in attendance, as were all three netminders. Head coach Peter Laviolette was also on the ice, leading the charge at the optional.

Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, who is week-to-week and on the IR, was also skating and getting quite involved. He was working hard on defense while taking part in the drills.

Joe Snively was on the ice as well, skating after being called up to the taxi squad. Mike Sgarbossa headed back to Hershey.

READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From Capitals’ 4-1 Loss To San Jose

Washington worked on multiple drills as the team looks to find a spark on offense while experiencing trouble with 5-on-5 and special teams scoring. The Capitals have dropped eight of their last 11 games, with six of those being regulation losses. Not only that, but they dropped back-to-back decisions in regulation for the first time since April after their Wednesday defeat.

“I think we’re generating 10-plus good scoring chances every game, and right now, it feels like they’re just not going in,” Eller explained on Wednesday. “For whatever reason, we have to work really hard for our goals right now. It’s not coming easy for us. I think that’s kind of the biggest thing I’ve seen over the last handful of games.”

Despite the recent struggles, Washington appeared to be in good spirits for the skate as the team looks to avoid getting frustrated with its recent stretch. The team heads to Dallas for a tilt with Braden Holtby and the Stars on Friday.

“I think we got a lot of great, talented players that expect to score when they are seeing opportunities… I don’t think anybody expects this to go on forever, but it’s tough,” John Carlson admitted. “It’s tough as a player I’m sure it’s tough as a coach too. You have high expectations of yourself… we got guys that have scored hundreds of goals that expect to be putting it in the back of the net a lot than we are. And that is something we talk about, something we have to deal with. I think you hope for the best and keep making sure the work ethic and that sort of thing is at the right level to keep getting those chances.”

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