The recent losing stretch the Capitals find themselves on hasn't just relinquished the lead in the Eastern Conference, it has also given an opportunity in the Southeast Division for teams to make a run to knock off the defending divisional champs. The seven game losing skid has the Caps on the ropes with teams like the Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning playing the role of spoilers.
At the moment, the Capitals allowed a once double digit lead in the Southeast dwindle to a mere one point advantage over the Thrashers within the division. Atlanta saw the opening the Caps gave them and made the most of the chance by accumulating 10 points in their last eight games. Including a 3-1 win over the Capitals.
Tampa has also made a push getting 6 points in their last six games and find themselves with an opportunity to also leap frog the Caps with a pair of wins.
For the Capitals, another loss or two and they could find themselves out of third place in the East and struggling with the middle of the pack teams jockeying to just stay in playoff contention. With two tough back to back games with Boston and Ottawa over the weekend, they must find their winning touch again if they hope to keep home ice advantage in April, or worse, just staying in the playoffs.