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Capitals Vs. Rangers: Alex Ovechkin Is Shooting More Often, And That's Good

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The Capitals lost another tough one last night, dropping to 1-9 in their last 10 overtime games in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers. Given the one goal, it's tough to find too many positives in the loss. However, I'll find one anyway: Alex Ovechkin is shooting the puck again.

Much has been made of Ovechkin's struggles this season, but it looks like he's broken out of his slump. He had a hat trick against the Maple Leafs on Saturday night, and seems to be playing with more pep in his step recently. The big reason for his improved play? He's actually shooting the puck on goal.

Ovechkin went through a five-game stretch where he took just 12 shots on goal, and that won't cut it. In the last two games, however, we've seen an uptick. He took eight shots on goal in the game against Toronto, and had six more in last night's loss. None found the net against the Rangers, but that's hockey. It happens. The important thing is to find a way to put shots on net.

If he keeps that up, the goals will come. At the very least, given the Capitals' increased emphasis on crashing the net, Ovechkin will set up chances for teammates to tip shots in. Here's hoping he continues to be aggressive.

Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:

  • Bullets Forever discusses Rashard Lewis and how he's been a positive influence to the team.
  • Japers' Rink recaps last night's loss.
  • Hogs Haven continues to break down Senior Bowl prospects.
  • Federal Baseball writes that Jim Riggleman is on the hot seat, just like he has been from Day 1.
Today on SB Nation D.C.: Daniel Shiferaw discusses the Green Bay Packers' transition to a 3-4 defense and why they did it differently and more effectively than the Redskins. 

Reminder: Come on out for the SB Nation D.C. Wizards/Caps viewing party at Madhatter on Feburary 1. Click here to RSVP.