Sudden thoughts on Caps' win in Montreal

Sudden thoughts on Caps' win in Montreal
April 21, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals enjoy a day off following Saturday night’s 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Clinching party: Even if the Winnipeg Jets beat the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, the Caps can clinch the Southeast Division title with a regulation win over the Jets on Tuesday because the Caps would restore their three-point lead and the Jets would have just one game remaining.

“We needed to stay ahead of them in points and create some separation,” Troy Brouwer said, “because the game we play against them coming up is going to be very important for seeding in the playoffs.”

Perfect PK: The Capitals were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill Saturday night, extending their streak to 14 straight successful kills over the past four games. Under Adam Oates the Caps take a less aggressive and more positional approach to penalty killing. He said it is sometimes better to be in good position and force a player to pass the puck than it is to lay down to block one and risk injury.

No looking back: Oates likes to use the expression “turn the page” more than Bob Seger. Maybe that’s why the Caps have not lost two games in a row since March 10 and 12, a stretch of 20 games in which the Caps are 15-4-1.

Block party: The Capitals blocked 22 shots against the Canadiens Saturday night, including six by defenseman John Carlson and three by blue liner Karl Alzner.

Look ahead: The Caps are off on Sunday and will report to Kettler for a 10:30 a.m. practice that will be preceded by a team photo. The finish out the season with home games against the Jets on Tuesday, the Senators on Thursday and the Bruins on Saturday. If the Caps can nail down the No. 3 seed, their two most likely playoff opponents are the Senators and Islanders.