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That’s not to say the Caps shouldn’t be commended for taking advantage of Florida’s flat effort and lighting up Theodore. They did a lot of things right, getting the kind of breaks that come from playing what Oates calls “correct” hockey.

But if the mental mistakes of the previous 11 games return for the road trip at the Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers, the Caps will look back at Saturday night as just a brief flash of what could be.

With players calling this team “fragile” and the general manager agreeing, regression would be unacceptable.

“We already gave ourself a big enough hole with being complacent,” goaltender Braden Holtby said, “and right now we’re not going to step off the gas the rest of the year.”