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Maintaining focus amid a sprint to the finish is one thing the Caps have gotten very good at this season. Part of that is coach Adam Oates not addressing the division race with his players.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Oates said. “The schedule’s been just crazy. Right now I think the staff and the players, we’re just treating it a game at a time, and it’s been working for us and we’re not talking about anything else, just focusing on tonight.”

Sunday night, like so many before, Ovechkin was locked in. Not surprisingly, the Caps followed.

“He’s scoring on his chances; obviously he’s got a lot of shots during the game,” Backstrom said. “It makes it easier. And when he has confidence, it’s fun to see and helps the team a lot.”