Suddenly, Caps are looking like a playoff team


The Washington Capitals, just two weeks ago counted out by many as a Stanley Cup playoffs participant this season, have turned their season around in a bid for their ninth consecutive playoff berth.

The Capitals have won three in a row, including two on the road, and are unbeaten in their past five. They've climbed from six points behind the New Jersey Devils to tie them for fourth place in the battle for the final playoff spot from the Patrick Division.

Washington has eight of its remaining 11 games at the Capital Centre in Landover. They play the Harford Whalers, who have not won in their last nine games (0-6-3), tonight at the Capital Centre. Washington also has a game in hand on New Jersey.

Capitals coach Terry Murray said: "We've had more intensity, and everyone seems better focused on what we have to do to make the playoffs.

"We're getting important goals from third- and fourth-line players. You got to have those people chip in if you're going to have any success in making it into the playoffs."

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