ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Some members of the Washington Capitals say a players-only meeting in early February played an important role in saving their season.
Without it, the Capitals might not be preparing to host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference playoff series Thursday night.
Washington won only two of its first 11 games and was last in the entire NHL after a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh. The next morning, players met at their practice facility and talked about what was going wrong.
Right after that, Washington went on a three-game winning streak and wound up winning the Southeast Division.
Center Nicklas Backstrom says of the meeting: ``That's what I think was the turning point.''
The Rangers also had a pivotal moment - deals made at the trade deadline.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Hosts still pushing for playoff spot   Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews snapped a seven-game goalless drought when he potted his 32nd marker of the season Saturday. Can Ontario’s darling carry that...
Thumbnail Laine, visitors aim to extend Minny's skid   A season that started so promisingly for the Wild is spinning out of control down the stretch. Can Bruce Boudreau’s troops find a way to right themselves...
Thumbnail Defending champs overcoming health issues Washington’s recent slide has provided a glimmer of hope for Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division race. But can the Pens avoid a letdown tonight against...
Thumbnail Western Conference heavyweights hit Canada With mere weeks left in the regular season, Ottawa’s staking a serious claim for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. But will Guy Boucher’s club manage to...
Thumbnail Gaudreau, friends to keep hot streak alive The Flames haven’t lost in regulation for a full month. Still, the ultra-competitive nature of the Western Conference makes Glen Gulutzan’s club anything but...

NHL Team Pages