Loss to Penguins helped turn around season for Capitals

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Paul takes

Instead, the coach said it was his team’s best game of the season.. A 2-1 loss that dropped the Caps to 12-16-1 turned out to be the beginning of this improbable run that has Washington in first place in the Southeast Division.. “That was an important game for us because it turned [out] to be a little bit of a launch for us in terms of playing well,” Oates said Thursday.. “So many good things came out of that game.” Players recalled the ups and downs of that contest, including Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen scoring nine seconds after a four-minute Caps power play expired, as a microcosm of the season.. “You realize how hard you worked and to fall 2-1, it leaves kind of a sour taste in your mouth knowing you left it all out there,” defenseman Steve Oleksy said.. “I think the guys realized we [didn’t] want that feeling again.” The mood at practice the following day at Consol Energy Center was businesslike.. Oates drilled the power play for more than a half-hour, and there wasn’t much joking around.. Still, Oates accentuated the positives and players understood what they did right.. “I think just an overall 60 minutes,” center Jay Beagle said.. “I think we all went away from it saying, ‘If we start playing like that, we’re going to start stringing some wins together here.’ It was a loss, but we gained a lot of confidence from it.” Part of that stems from containing Sidney Crosby and the Penguins , who won their 10th straight the night of March 19.. “I think part of the competition brought it out in us, playing such a good opponent,” right wing Troy Brouwer said.. “We had to elevate our game and be solid all over the ice. source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/11/loss-penguins-helped-turn-around-season-capitals/

Capitals 3, Hurricanes 1

Carolina’s losing streak is up to seven games.. The Hurricanes did a nice job of shutting out Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals’ red-hot top line, but a three-minute flurry midway through the second period was the difference for the Capitals.. The Hurricanes swarmed the Capitals in the game’s opening 10 minutes, outshooting them 14-0 and taking a 1-0 lead on Jeff Skinner’s 11th goal of the season at the 5:01 mark.. Skinner, who had 51 goals in his first two NHL seasons, entered the game with just one goal in his past 15 games.. However, with the Canes on the power play, he turned a generous rebound of an Eric Staal shot into his fourth power-play goal of the season.. Holtby settled in after the early barrage, stopping Alex Semin from the slot, Chad LaRose from the circle and Kevin Westgarth from the high slot to keep the Capitals within one goal.. He also got a little help from defenseman John Carlson, who, with 52 seconds remaining in the opening period, swiped away a shot by Jay Harrison that trickled through Holtby’s pads and was headed toward the open cage.. The Capitals short-circuited two of their own power plays when Brouwer and Mike Ribeiro each took high-sticking penalties less than 10 seconds into the advantages, but the two forwards redeemed themselves by connecting on a power play 8:08 into the second period.. Ribeiro found Brouwer unguarded in the right circle, and Brouwer beat Justin Peters between the pads for his 14th goal of the season and his first in seven games.. The Caps grabbed the lead less than three minutes later when defenseman Green cruised down the right wing and beat Peters with a perfect shot under the left crossbar.. The goal was Green’s ninth of the season and seventh since returning from a groin injury 12 games ago. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/capitals-3-hurricanes-1-015034531–nhl.html

NHL Capsules

Patrick Bordeleau scored with 14:55 to play to even it for the last-place Avalanche, who nearly pulled another upset in Southern California.. Paul Stastny also scored for Colorado, which ended a 14-game, road-losing streak since Feb.. 14 with a 4-1 win at powerful Anaheim on Wednesday.. ISLANDERS 2, BRUINS 1 BOSTON — Josh Bailey scored twice and New York added another big win in its surge toward the playoffs with a win over Boston.. The Islanders, seeking their first trip to the postseason in seven years, improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games.. They started the day tied with Ottawa and the New York Rangers with 44 points.. New York kept pace with Ottawa, which won at Philadelphia.. The eighth-place Rangers were idle.. Tyler Seguin scored for the Bruins, who fell to 5-2 in their last seven games one night after moving into second place in the East with a 5-4 win at New Jersey.. Bailey’s fourth goal in six games snapped a 1-1 tie at 13:12 of the second period. source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/nhl-capsules/2013/04/11/3ee1c74a-a323-11e2-bd52-614156372695_story.html


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