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“Lots of people say we have to have fun. Yeah, we have to have fun but have fun it’s not like laughing and it’s not joke around. It’s serious fun,” the captain said. “You have to be concentrate, and when you have opportunity to smile, you smile. But most of the time in the locker room it was pretty serious.”

The mood in the locker room this time was focused joy. Nothing ebullient, just the confidence that comes with finally winning a game.

“There’s points to be had, and we’re still in a race,” Hunter said earlier Friday. We’ve just to go out and perform.”

Two more points are there to be had Saturday night at the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have lost seven of their past eight. A Capitals win could put them back into the playoff picture and even potentially the third seed in the East — as long as they “go out and perform” on the road like they did Friday night at home.

“It’s only one game. We beat [an] opponent,” Ovechkin said. “We have to play the same way and better way tomorrow.”