Alex Ovechkin’s assessment of the importance of Washington’s 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins Thursday night was simple enough: The victory put the Capitals “back on track” he said and keeps pressure on the teams they’re competing with to win as well.
The win in Boston is more of a step in the right direction than a cure-all, though. While Washington tied the Sabres with 86 points, it remains in ninth place.
“It’s situation what we are right now,” Ovechkin said. “You just have to play every game like it’s going to be our last game. We have four games left and have to win four.”
Over the weekend there will be plenty of scoreboard watching for the Capitals: eighth-place Buffalo hosts Pittsburgh Friday then visits Toronto on Saturday while the seventh-place Senators visit Philadelphia on Saturday and the Islanders on Sunday.
The Southeast Division lead is still not completely out of reach, either, after Florida suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. The Panthers’ hold a four point lead with a game in hand on Washington, and they’ll be back in action tonight at league-worst Columbus.
Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for the various contenders:
Washington, 86 points, 36 regulation and overtime wins : Saturday vs. Montreal; Monday at Tampa Bay; April 5 vs. Florida; April 7 at N.Y. Rangers
Florida, 90 points, 31 ROW : Friday at Columbus; Sunday at Detroit; April 3 vs. Winnipeg; April 5 at Washington; April 7 vs. Carolina.
Ottawa, 88 points, 34 ROW : Saturday at Philadelphia; Sunday at N.Y. Islanders; April 3 vs. Carolina; April 5 vs. Boston; April 7 at New Jersey
Buffalo, 86 points, 31 ROW : Friday vs. Pittsburgh; Saturday at Toronto; April 3 vs Toronto; April 5 at Philadelphia; April 7 at Boston.
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