After falling in Dallas on Dec. 2, the Capitals (18-10-3) closed a winless four-game run in Washington with a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Saturday despite firing 42 shots on goal. Though outscored 15-8 during the skid, Bruce Boudreau's club remains atop the Southeast Division.
Boudreau ripped his team after a 3-0 loss to last-place Florida on Thursday, but changed his tone after the latest setback.
|Alternate captain Ryan Callahan and the Rangers will wear their new Heritage jerseys for the third time when they face the Capitals tonight at MSG.|
"We're going to build off this and go. It's a different feeling in the room," he said. "There's disappointment because you gave the effort and didn't come away with (a win). But I'm hoping other than the two points, they're taking a positive aspect out of this game."
Washington has put together solid efforts in its last three matchups with the Rangers at The Garden, scoring 15 goals. The Capitals came away with a 5-3 victory Nov. 9 behind two goals and an assist from Brooks Laich.
Not surprisingly, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been keys to that success. Ovechkin, a two-time MVP, has three goals and three assists in the last three visits while Backstrom -- a top playmaker -- had a goal and four assists during a 6-5 win Feb. 4.
Neither, though, has produced much lately. Ovechkin (team-high 36 points) has two goals and an assist while Backstrom (tied for second with 33) has three assists during the losing streak.
Mike Green, the Capitals' top-scoring defenseman with 14 points, was scratched Saturday with the flu and his status against the Rangers is uncertain. Green has totaled two goals and four assists in his last three games at MSG.
After winning five of seven from Nov. 20 to Dec. 2, the Rangers have alternated wins and losses in its last four games, including a 3-1 defeat Saturday at Columbus.
"We've just got to move by it and bring the good things into the Washington game because that's a very good club (Sunday) night," head coach John Tortorella told newyorkrangers.com. "We can't worry about this now. We have to move on to the next one."
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