Capitals haven’t given up hope as key games with Carolina loom

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After losing to both New York teams over the weekend, Ovechkin said the next step is to “refresh our mind, forget these losses.” But coming up empty in two straight games is something the Caps understand they can’t do if they want to make a run.

“We can’t squander the points that we need to catch Carolina,” Brouwer said. “They’ve been winning, they’ve been playing really good hockey as of late. It’s tough to catch those guys, we’ve got to make the best of it when we have opportunities.”

That’s the toughest part to come to grips with: Even though the Caps have won eight of their past 13 games, they haven’t made much of a move up the standings.

The conventional wisdom is that the Caps must earn four of every six points available. That’s not far off, as owner Ted Leonsis noted his team must likely finish above .500 to make the playoffs.

“We have a lot work to do,” Leonsis wrote on his blog.

Even more work than the Caps have done already, meaning the climb has just begun.

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