Pittsburgh Penguins 0-1 Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning 3-4 Washington Capitals
Carolina Hurricanes 1-2 Washington Capitals
New York Islanders 3-0 Washington Capitals
Karl Alzner: In four games that could very easily be hard on the plusminus numbers, Alzner posted a solid +2, but most notably fought hated pest Steve Downie against the Bolts for his first NHL tussle. Anyone who takes on a man like Downie deserves a thumbs up.
Marcus Johansson: Marcus Johansson, a thumbs up for the third straight week, continued his impressive emergence, racking up two assists to go along with a +1. The Swede, who has nine goals and 17 assists through 43 games, is now just one point shy of equalling his totals from a season ago, though those 27 points came from 69 games. Johansson is very quietly compiling a very good season, and is beginning to establish himself as a pivotal player for the Caps.
Troy Brouwer: Brouwer was quiet for three of four games, but for that one game, he put the team on his back and carried them to victory. The 4-3 victory over Tampa was Brouwer's night, as he scored his first NHL hat-trick and even picked up a double-minor for roughing superstar Steven Stamkos. His 14 goals and 23 points after 44 games put him on track to shatter his career best numbers of 22 goals and 40 points, and have made him worth the first-round pick the Caps paid for him in the summer.
Tomas Kundratek: Making your NHL debut is never easy, but young Czech defenseman Tomas Kundratek has handled himself well, keeping an even plusminus, averaging a respectable 9.38 time on ice per game, and even taking his first shot and his first penalty. Kundratek is an important part of the future for the Caps, and his solid play can only be taken as an encouraging sign.
The Penalty Kill: A season ago, the Caps managed an incredible 85.6% success rate on the penalty kill, numbers that put them at second in the league behind only Pittsburgh. This season, however, has been different, as the Caps have killed off penalties at a woeful 81.3% success rate. This week was particularly bad, as the team allowed four power play goals off 15 penalties for a 73.3% success rate. The PK needs to be better.