Friday night, the Washington Capitals climbed two points closer to the Southeast Division lead with a huge 2-1 win over the Southeast leading Florida Panthers. The win brought the Capitals to within two points of the Panthers, with the Capitals still sitting one place out of the top eight in the east. The following four reasons are why the Capitals will stay in the hunt for the playoffs and win the Southeast Division:
1) Best Road Win: It is no secret that the Capitals have struggled away from the Verizon Center this season, but Friday night was by far the strongest display by the Capitals on the road this season. They had 30 shots on net after 40 minutes of play but nothing was bouncing their way until the third period, where they broke through and scored twice. Their ability to stay positive and not get down on themselves showed they were there to win.
2) Penalty Killing: In the Capitals last six road games, they have only allowed two power play goals on 16 attempts. That average is much higher than the rest of their season has been. They have also blocked 113 shots in those six games.
3) Grinder Hockey: Troy Brouwer and Jeff Halpern both showed Friday night that they are willing to give up the body for the betterment of the team as Brouwer blocked multiple shots on a crucial third period penalty kill. Halpern won two defensive face offs in the final 10 seconds to preserve the one-goal lead to lead the Capitals to victory.
4) The Alex Show: That’s right, both Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin are heating up at a big point in the season. The Alex’s are the only forwards to score for Washington in the past four games. Ovechkin has four goals and two assists in his past five games and Semin has four goals and four assists in his past seven games. On Friday, they both combined for 12 shots against Florida.
Due to these four reasons, the Capitals have proved that they have what it takes to not only win on the road, but make it into the playoffs .