The Capitals have three regular season games remaining in which to address the hairline cracks that have begun to appear in the foundation, writes Tarik El-Bashir:

Just a few weeks ago the Capitals were undoubtedly playing the best hockey of the Boudreau Era. Great goaltending, a lights-out penalty kill and an overall commitment to team defense helped them procure seven one-goal victories during a nine-game winning streak.

But it’s hard not to believe that they took a small step backward on the just-concluded three-game homestand — even if they earned five of six possible points.

It wouldn’t have been so troubling had the sloppiness been limited to the Sabres game. But the Capitals coughed up leads in each of the previous two contests, as well. Being forced to overtime by teams significantly behind in the standings isn’t how a team with Stanley Cup aspirations wants to be playing a little more than a week before the start of the playoffs.

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