Caps hope Wings just the recipe to get cooking again

A three-game homestand that begins against the NHL’s worst team could be just what the Washington Capitals need to start a winning streak.They have been floundering over the past six weeks, putting together back-to-back victories just once over that span. Overall, they’ve gone 7-9-3 in their last 19 games, which doesn’t bode well for a team with championship aspirations.In their latest outing, they lost a shootout in Buffalo 3-2 on Monday. The Capitals are trying to hold off Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.”We know right now the points are pretty irrelevant for what we want to accomplish,” goalie Braden Holtby told NHL.com. “If you look at how we’re playing, how we’re setting up games, how we’re starting, how we’re finishing — if you look at the process that way, you’re going to get a lot of points. Right now, we’ve just got to keep working, and keep pushing ourselves even harder.”The Capitals (41-20-8, 90 points) fell behind the Sabres 2-0, then rallied in the third period to force overtime.”The third period obviously is our best,” Washington coach Todd Reirden said. “I think our execution through the first 40 minutes wasn’t great in terms of — particularly in the neutral zone — giving our team a chance to have success. In the third period, we simplified our game. We put pucks behind them, and we hung on to the puck and played in the offensive zone.”The Capitals will also face Chicago and Edmonton before venturing out of town again. This will be the second of three meetings with the Red Wings.Washington won the first one at Detroit, 5-2, on Nov. 30.Alexander Ovechkin collected perhaps the easiest hat trick of his career, as he tallied two empty-netters.

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