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Capitals chase first road victory, consecutive wins

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Fresh off their most impressive showing of the season, the Washington Capitals now are looking to build on Saturday's 5-0 victory against the Florida Panthers.

With a rematch against the Panthers at the BB&T Center coming up Tuesday night, the Capitals are hoping they've finally turned things around after their miserable start.

"Hopefully it's one of those turnaround games where we had our rock-bottom moment a few weeks ago and we wanted to be better, to a man," said wing Troy Brouwer, who scored twice in Saturday's victory. "Going into our last game, guys were real excited wanting to turn the season around. We feel we've taken the right steps toward moving forward here and we've got to continue that."

The Capitals will be looking to take another step Tuesday night -- winning on the road.

At 0-4-1, Washington is the only team in the NHL without a single road victory this season. Three of those losses have been by one goal, including a 3-2 decision at the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 25.

"Hopefully something like the other night helps (players realize) that when we play like that throughout the game good things will happen, and sometimes it doesn't always go your way early," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "You've got to be willing to fight through it for two periods and stay with the program, and maybe you'll get that goal late in the third. And you have to approach the game that way, that we might not get any success until late in the game. You have to be mentally ready for that."

Even after the blowout victory against the Panthers, Washington (3-8-1) entered Tuesday's action with the fewest points of any team in the Eastern Conference.

It's not a position the Capitals have found themselves in very often in recent years, and it's one that has greatly reduced their margin for error.

"We're very angry right now," forward Wojtek Wolski said. "We're going to continue to be angry, we're going to continue to be determined. We had a tough start, but we've addressed what we needed to do and we talked about it. We realize that every game is a playoff game for us right now. It's crazy to say, but it is."

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