The Washington Capitals, buoyed by a 2-0-1 record in their last three games and a high-powdered offense that has produced 11 goals in the last two contests, hope to strengthen their chances for a playoff berth with victories against Edmonton Friday night and Vancouver Saturday night.
Cap Coach Gary Green gave his squad a brief reprieve in the sun today following a final practice at Newport Beach, Calif.
Edmonton and Vancouver, the Caps' last stops on this five-game road trip, have 47 and 45 points, respectively. Washington has 39.
Green cites two players who have figured prominently in the team's resurgence: goaltender Wayne Stephenson and forward Ryan Walter. Stephenson has recorded a 3.03 goals against average in the last 10 games, including several important last saves against Los Angeles.
Walter, who has scored six goals and added five assists in the last 10 games, has nearly made up for the absence of Dennis Maruk and Guy Charron, out with injuries. He is the team's leading scorer with 45 points, 31 of them in the last 29 games.
The Caps also expect Maruk, sidelined with a knee injury last October to begin taking part in team practices next week.