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“You cannot always score on the PP,” Ribeiro said. “I think they pressed well up the ice. But I think we got good chances to score. We had a good, few shots there that we didn’t connect. … You just need to battle through. Obviously when you’re first, you’re expected to score every game.”

That’s exactly why Oates said last month he’d almost rather not have the league’s top power play. There’s too much expectation involved.

“You’re focused on it too much,” Oates said. “I don’t want the guys driving to the rink thinking, ‘Oh, I can’t wait for my three power plays tonight,’ because there’s still 54 minutes besides that that you need to think about.”

The Caps managed to score twice at even strength, but now they have a lot of minutes to think about a missed opportunity to pick up a couple of valuable points.

Going on the road for three games after Tuesday’s defeat, players at least have the confidence to draw from a 3-1 trip last week that put them into playoff contention.

“We’re still in the fight,” Laich said. “[We’ll] hit the road [with] the same mentality that we did last week.”