The Caps' whirlwind remaining schedule begins tonight in Pittsburgh

Chris Lingebach
March 12, 2019 - 5:59 pm
The Caps' whirlwind remaining schedule begins tonight in Pittsburgh

Will Newton/Getty Images

The Capitals have 13 regular season games on the schedule before the real fun begins.

Eight of those games will be played against currently playoff-bound opponents, including Tuesday's division rival matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Caps are running into a buzzsaw in Pittsburgh, their first trip to PPG Paints Arena since October. Since the All-Star break, Sidney Crosby has racked up 31 points – on 10 goals and 21 assists – and on Sunday night, the Pens did what 19 previous Bruin opponents could not: halt Boston's blazing points streak.

"When you go down this part of the season, though, with the better teams in the league – Pittsburgh was in first for a little while, the Caps were in and out of it – everything's a grind right now," Alan May told The Junkies on The Morning Skate, presented by D.C. Lottery.

"We get all these playoff race scenarios from the league every single night after the last game," he said. "And you see who plays who, and who's got games against teams that aren't in the playoffs, and the Caps have eight games left with teams that are in the playoffs.

Five teams make up the Caps' remaining playoff-bound opponents: Tampa (3x), Carolina (2x), Pittsburgh (1x), Minnesota (1x), Islanders (1x).

Three of those games come against the Lightning, who are a shoo-in for the Presidents' Trophy at this point with 110 points.

"And Pittsburgh's right there – I think they're at six or seven – but you've got to make every game count," May said. "And then when you're going against a division rival, especially a team that's in the standings that's still in the playoff race, the games are even more. The players take these games a lot more serious than the other games."

"Not that every game's not serious," he noted, "but when you're going against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, you know you've got to bring your best."

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