from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Washington was three points, and the Wings five, behind the final wild-card spot. Tuesday's game will be crucial for the standings.
"It's huge now, we're in the hunt for the playoffs, and watching the games, the guys have been playing great," Vrana said. "This game is really important for our group here. This time of year, you're going to come in and prepare and give it all you have."...
"For the guys, this is what they've battled for, this is what they've wanted, important games late in the season and we're right there," Lalonde said. "I'm excited to see how we handle it.
"I give this group credit. We don't talk about it (playoff push), we stand in the moment. Guys probably get annoyed at me for not talking about it but every time they just keep finding a way, keep batting and putting themselves in these situations. They've earned it and wanted to be here and they've worked themselves into being here.
"Let's now try to take advantage of the opportunity."
Lalonde was pleased to see the energy level at Tuesday's practice given the long day of travel Sunday from Seattle.
"We had a ton of energy," Lalonde said. "I'm guessing that has a little more to do with the excitement of a game like this. Some of these guys haven't experienced this, this late in the season. There's more excitement than tired legs."
from Mike Vogel of the Capitals website,
On Tuesday night against Detroit, the Capitals open up a crucial three-game homestand at Capital One Arena. Heading into that contest, the Caps find themselves in both familiar and unfamiliar situations. As the Wings roll into town, Detroit is just two points behind the Caps, who faced the same situation in their previous home game last Thursday when Florida came into the District and erased a two-point standings deficit with a win over Washington. The unfamiliar part of the equation is the four-game regulation losing streak the Caps are lugging into Tuesday's tilt; it's the longest such streak Washington has been saddled with in over two years.
"They're right there," says Caps' coach Peter Laviolette of the Red Wings. "I don't know if their winning percentage is right above us or if they're right below us, their winning percentage. But it's close enough for me not to worry about whether we're .2 percent better than them or .2 percent behind them. It doesn't matter. We've got to win hockey games. So the focus is winning, the focus is two points, the focus is playing a better brand of hockey than we did the other night."
The fourth of those consecutive losses came on Saturday night in Raleigh, under the stars and the lights on the big stage of the NHL's Stadium Series. Carolina scored on its first shot on net of the night, and it added three more goals in a span of less than six minutes in the second period, rolling to a 4-1 win over the Caps.
Create an Account
In order to leave a comment, please create an account.