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House of Pain's 'Jump Around' played in the victorious locker room, but players didn't celebrate like this was an emotional win.
Had the Caps not been able to erase a three-goal deficit to beat the Boston Bruins in overtime, they would have fallen into last place in the Eastern Conference.
There's a saving grace in the Caps' 5-2-1 record against opponents out of the playoff picture because without those points they would be in an even deeper hole. But sitting 15th in the East isn't a spot they want to be in with two games coming up Thursday and Saturday against the defending conference-champion New Jersey Devils.
After some games, Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates can see more "holes" in his team's game on film than are obvious from behind the bench. A 5-0 win over the weekend against the Florida Panthers was a good example of the result covering up a plethora of mistakes.
Mathieu Perreault wanted to show what he could do after four games as a healthy scratch. Eric Fehr wanted to show what he could do with some more playing time. Joel Ward wanted to show what he could do with more responsibility.
Capitals coach Adam Oates even acknowledged that Saturday night's triumph over Florida was "only one win." It doesn't mask some season-long scoring deficiencies and a tendency to make mistakes in bunches.
Aggressive forechecking resulted in goals. They stayed out of the penalty box, for the most part. Defenders deftly navigated the Panthers' forecheck. And goalie Braden Holtby jumpstarted the offense with a superb pass that resulted in a goal.
The Florida Panthers have announced layoffs of some staff members, saying the moves are "primarily" because of the NHL lockout.
The Verizon Center crowd cheered and Dale Hunter didn't even know why. The Buffalo Sabres had lost to the Philadelphia Flyers and eliminated themselves from playoff contention, and the Washington Capitals were on their way to knocking off the Florida Panthers.