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Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 03/04/2011

Capitals pin power-play hopes on Dennis Wideman

Washington's struggles on the power play have been well-documented this season, and while the Caps didn't score during their only man advantage against St. Louis on Thursday, they had a few chances and started to show a glimmer of hope that things might turn around.

Newly-acquired defenseman Dennis Wideman played a big role throwing pucks at the net from the point, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday that Wideman could make a major impact on the struggling unit as it gets more opportunities.

"It's just experience. He's been playing the power play his whole life and his job is to get pucks through," Boudreau said. "He knows how to do it. Our guys go to the net, and if we can get pucks through, you're going to start seeing some deflection goals, which I don't think we've seen too many all year."

It's been five games since the Caps converted on the power play against Pittsburgh on Feb. 21, and they are 3-for-36 over their last 12 games.

They have scored on only 16.1 percent of their power plays this season, are ranked 25th in the league and worst among Eastern Conference teams that would qualify for a playoff berth if the season ended today.

They moved the puck well Thursday against the Blues, took some shots and were inches away from scoring more than once.

"I just thought we were snakebit," Boudreau said. "The one hit the knob of [St. Louis goaltender Ty Conklin's] stick, [another] one I thought was sure was going to be in, and then the deflection went through his legs -- all in 30 seconds."

The Caps' power play led the league last season with a prolific 25.2 percent success rate, and the lack of success has been troubling.

"This is going to be one of those years where we're going to battle every time on a power play," Boudreau said. "We're not going to get the opportunities we would like to get, but we just got to stay positive and plow through it."

By Greg Schimmel  |  10:16 AM ET, 03/04/2011

 
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