The Washington Capitals haven't won three games in a row since their season-opening seven game win streak, but they have lost four in a row twice since then. After a lopsided loss Tuesday, the Caps look to start another win streak Thursday in a pivotal Southeast Division game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers scored five unanswered goals in a 5-1 rout, dropping Washington to 3-4-0 under Dale Hunter. That stretch, juxtaposed by the Jets' streak of five wins in six games this month, has the Caps looking up at the Jets and Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division.
Winnipeg only plays two road games this month and has turned MTS Centre, the NHL's smallest arena, into one of toughest places to play. The Jets are 10-4-0 at home, which includes a 4-1 win over the Caps November 17 during the tailspin that ultimately cost Bruce Boudreau his job. So far this month, the Jets have defeated the two of the NHL's best teams, the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild.
Washington exacted revenge November 23 in a 4-3 overtime win at Verizon Center, but a win Thursday would vault it over Winnipeg in the standings.
Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle will travel with the Caps on its two-game road trip. Hendricks has missed three games with a knee injury and is listed as "day-to-day," while Beagle has not traveled with the team since suffering a concussion October 13 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Beagle won't play Thursday, but Hendricks' status is uncertain.