With their 3-2 overtime win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday, the Washington Capitals advanced into first place in the Souteast Division for the first time since December 29. Momentum appears to be on their side as Washington has won four straight games and six of their last seven.
Among those four games were two overtime wins and a late comeback on the road against the New York Islanders on February 26. Washington had not put together a four game winning streak since the end of November.
Bruce Boudreau’s squad will be put to the test on Monday night, when they look to protect their new lead atop the division against the Tampa Bay Lightning, now just one point behind Washington. “I think the game will be a little more intense,” Boudreau told the media following his team’s win on Sunday.
The clicking Capitals have seen more success of late from their star Captain Alex Ovechkin. On Sunday he took four shots and recorded an assist, he scored the stunning overtime goal against the Islanders on March 1 and has six points in his last five games.
Washington has also seen young goaltender Michal Neuvirth become more consistent in Semyon Varlamov’s absence with an injury. Neuvirth is 6-2 in his last eight games and has allowed just seven goals in his last four games.
“We’ve won four in a row and it’s a good start,” Neuvirth said on Sunday. “I think we’re getting something together here and tomorrow’s going to be another great challenge for us and we’ve got to be ready.”