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Latest John Carlson Items
John Erskine hopes to play by the weekend. Tomas Kundratek could be close to returning. Soon the Washington Capitals could have just about a healthy blue line again, which could require some roster juggling.
Reeling from their fifth loss in seven games, several Washington Capitals players sat in the visitors' locker room at Consol Energy Center Tuesday night and found positives.
When Matt Cooke mouthed off at the officials after being called for boarding Alex Ovechkin, Washington had its break: a four-minute power play. Four minutes to untie the score. Four minutes to gain ground in the playoff race. Four minutes to end Pittsburgh's winning streak.
When Troy Brouwer, Mathieu Perreault, Jack Hillen and John Carlson celebrated, it was like the Caps had won a playoff game, and Cheshire Cat smiles on the bench greeted Chimera on his way back.
With Cameron Schilling joining Tomas Kundratek and Steve Oleksy in the lineup, half the Caps' defense corps was with Hershey when the NHL season began.
What should the Washington Capitals take from a thorough beating of the Florida Panthers?
The goaltender has three shutouts among nine straight starts, going 6-3 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in that time.
Erskine has consistently played in a top-four role this season, making the most out of his clean slate during the Adam Oates regime.
Behind solid goaltending and timely offense, Washington put together another victory to be proud of. The Southeast Division lead is just four points away, but the Caps remain in last place.