(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — How many games this season have the Capitals found a way to steal a point or two despite not playing that clean of a game? Several come to mind, including Friday’s 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.

Sunday they were on the other end of that equation, outplaying and outshooting the Buffalo Sabres but losing, 2-1, in a shootout. The Capitals certainly could have used more traffic in front of Ryan Miller as they put 50 shots on net, but for the most part the mood postgame was positive, not frustrated.

“It’s tough when you have to go through these games, you’re upset, you’re mad because you didn’t win the game but at the same point you’ve got to be happy with the way you played,” Troy Brouwer said. “We came in here and we can’t hang our heads, we can’t be disappointed in that game. If we play like we did tonight we’re going to win the majority of our games. Tonight bounces didn’t go our way, pucks didn’t go in and we got a leave here being happy with the way we played but not happy with the outcome of the game.”

To their credit the Capitals did a lot well to establish and sustain possession so they could record 78 attempted shots. What will be interesting to see is how they move forward from this loss on Monday at Ottawa, which has lost four of its last six.

Can Washington, which has struggled with consistency even when it earns a victory after a strong game, build off of everything that went right even though the results weren’t there? Time will tell, but on Sunday night Coach Adam Oates was among those looking on the bright side.

“I cant really complain on the night. We had 15 shots in every period. We did a lot of good things,” Oates said. “Yeah there’s always mistakes but we played a pretty solid game. Obviously you want to win but I’m not disappointed in the game.”

More to come Monday morning in Five Thoughts.