Not much else can be said regarding the Washington Capitals' recent struggles. Their six-game losing streak is their longest since March 2007 and their 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers Sunday was their worst defeat in almost five years. With the WInter Classic and the new year looming in the distance, the Capitals hope to right things in 2010 Wednesday when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Verizon Center.
Washington last tasted victory December 1 in a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Since then, the Capitals have been outscored 23-8 and have been shutout twice. In fact, under head coach Bruce Boudreau, the Caps have been shutout only 12 times in 257 games, but four of those games have come this season. The power play, the NHL's best last season, has gone 3-for-26 (11.5%) during the streak. The usually-potent offense of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom has combined for just two goals. When all of these statistics are combined, the Capitals, the highest-scoring team one year ago, are averaging 3.00 GF/G, 9th in the NHL and down from last year's 3.82 GF/G.
Ovechkin got into a rare fight Sunday against Brandon Dubinsky in what was seen as a statement to his team. The Capitals will need some fire to fight off the Ducks. Anaheim has won six of 10 and is heading out on a seven day, five-game road trip where they will look to make a statement against a downed Capitals team. The Ducks have five double-digit goal scorers, led by Corey Perry's 16 goals. Perry earned his first career hat trick Sunday in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
The Capitals' injury and illness woes continue to plague them. Boyd Gordon will now be out for at least a week with an undisclosed injury. Semin and Marcus Johansson sat out of practice Tuesday with flu-like symptoms, while Mike Green, who didn't make the trip to New York because of the flu, skated, making his status unclear.