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The Capitals are going to need help to make the playoffs

Mar 28, 2012, 9:39 AM EST

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals Getty Images

Last night the Capitals had a chance to seize control of their own destiny and eighth place in the Eastern Conference. After getting blown out at home by the Buffalo Sabres 5-1, the Capitals are hard up against it now. The Caps and Sabres each have five games remaining and with Buffalo having a two point lead, Washington is going to need help over the final stretch to make the postseason.

While Caps fans are all sad today thinking that maybe their superstar-laden team will miss the playoffs in a year that was meant to see them finally make a run at the Stanley Cup, keep this in mind: Should Washington and Buffalo finish tied in points, the Caps have the tie breaker thanks to having more regulation and overtime wins.

That said, things can get dicey for both teams over the final set of games. Check out each team’s schedule the rest of the way:

Washington:  @Boston, Montreal, @Tampa Bay, Florida, @NY Rangers

Buffalo: Pittsburgh, @Toronto, Toronto, @Philadelphia, @Boston

It’s safe to say that this is a long way from being over and done. Both teams having to deal with Boston on the road while the Sabres have an odd balance of getting a down and out Toronto team twice but also having the Penguins and Flyers staring them in the face. The Sabres have to finish with more points no matter what, but last night’s win puts them in the driver’s seat.

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  1. dagnats - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    i love the caps, but they come up small when they need to come up big…they were taking it to the sabres last night until the 2nd terrible goal given up…then they lied down…sad really, they come up big when no one cares (against the wild, islanders, habs, etc…)…It might be better long term for them to miss the playoffs; the dont deserve to be there, too many half-a$$ed performances this year…

  2. watermelon1 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    caps have a “superstar-laden” team? That’s news to me. After Ovechkin and backstrom… Ummm, what do they have?

    I can’t even name one defensemen, because they simply don’t have any. And the goalies… Yikes.

    • dagnats - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      their goalie is not the problem…if you watch any caps games you would know this. their defense is careless in their own zone, and their forwards do not back check…hence, they give up tons of scoring chances…they are turnover machines in their own zone and the neutral zone

    • jjcollins48 - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      compared to the sabres, the caps are in facct superstar laden. ryan miller being the sole exception

  3. dougr42 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM
  4. dougr42 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    /insert “ProCapsTalk” joke

  5. rabidbillsfan - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    @dagnats

    What game were you watching? The Caps were taking it to the Sabres? Thats pretty laughable considering they were outshot 5 times in the first and the Sabres had 4 more scoring chances. The Sabres owned this game start to finish, they wanted it more and they got it done. Pominville, yes, Jason Pominville outworked Ovi shorthanded and scored. Welcome back Mr. Kaleta, you oestering ways were missed. Hey BuffaloMafia, lets see you block the shot Kaleta did last night and then come back into the game. No word on Ehrhoff or Sekera, but we still have McNabb and Weber so we will be fine if they miss any time. Buffalo is the hottest team in the NHL, eat it Pittsburgh.

    • dagnats - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      for the first 2/3rds of the way thru the first the caps had the puck in buffalos zone a ton, and were cycling and outworking them on the boards, they had opps but were shooting wide so shots are not registered as shots…the first goal the sabres got was a bad turnover by the goalie, the 2nd was a bad attempted clear, they caps were outworking the sabres in the offensive zone till that 2nd goal given up, then they lied down, numbers are misleading, the caps had the puck possession battle until that 2nd goal, thats what i mean…they just didnt capitalize on anything

  6. rgee3 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Dale hunter needs to fire this team up… throw a chair, call out a couple players. its go time babyyyy. put up or get out of town.

  7. buffalomafia - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    @rabidbillsfan- that Kaleta takes a beating cause the big guys can’t!

    He took a good one to the hand. I thought he broke it again.

    • govtminion - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      No kidding- as soon as that puck hit him both my wife and I winced. That had to have hurt like hell- I couldn’t believe he stayed in the game.

      …but, perfect illustration of the willpower the Sabres used. They wanted it bad enough to play through pain like that. The Caps didn’t. The result is the lopsided scoreboard you’d expect.

  8. bethgoesglobal - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    I have to agree that part of me thinks that the Caps missing the playoffs would not be the worse thing in the world. Sometimes you need a real kick in the boot to re-asses yourself and your team. BUT, I would Love to see them beat the Rangers in the opening round again, and hey, Ottawa could still flounder too.
    Whatever will be will be

  9. Stiller43 - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Rabidbillsfan,

    Im a pens fan (living in northern va) who was rooting for the sabres last night to kick the caps out of the playoffs.

    The caps were definitely outplaying the sabre for much of the game. But they fell apart when it mattered and holty sucked.

  10. muir6 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    There not beating the Rangers or anyone else be real their soft

  11. wez99 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Caps were controlling the game until the first goal, that seemed to take the wind out of the capitals sails, it became a more balanced game after that by both teams until the second goal, then it was all buff

    • govtminion - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      That seems to be how the Caps roll lately. They were kicking ass on faceoffs especially early, but when Buffalo started scoring (especially after the second goal) the Caps seemed to deflate and panic. They did the same thing against Winnipeg last week. That’s not a good sign for a team trying to get into the playoffs.

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