After a month in which nothing seemed to go right for Washington, everything seemed to go their way under the bright lights in Annapolis.
WIth the eyes of the hockey world on the Stadium Series, the Capitals raised their game for the occasion in a dominant 5-2 win.
For several weeks, the only constant the team could rely on was the steady production of Alex Ovechkin. Even Braden Holtby, usually the face of consistency in net, scuffled through the worst stretch of his career with six straight losses. But Saturday proved to be a "get right" game for the Caps in just about every aspect of their game.
Not enough production from the team's top stars? Nicklas Backstrom recorded three points in the first period as Washington jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson also registered three points on the night and Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season.
"The leaders of team we rely on them the most," Carlson said. "And when they come out hot like that, I think everyone else kind of follows suit."
Scuffling goalie? Holtby turned aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced against one of the league's most potent offenses for his first win since Feb. 9.
"I thought Holts really responded well," Barry Trotz said. "The first time you go through things, Holts hasn't lost a lot of games in a row since I've been here anyways. And it's difficult because you're going into unchartered waters and you're wondering if it's you, if it's the team. You're looking for answers and sometimes the answers are just right there. You've got to just dial yourself in, don't doubt yourself and also just go out and almost steal one."
Invisible fourth line? The fourth line was one of the team's best on the night, drawing an early penalty that allowed the Capitals to take the early lead.
"The fourth line, probably one of their best games," Tom Wilson said. "They draw a penalty early, gets our power play on the ice and allows us to have a good start. [Jay Beagle] was a man possessed tonight, he was winning battles."
Jakub Vrana goalless streak? Vrana scored his first goal in 2018 snapping a drought of 25 games.
"I said you got the monkey off your back," Trotz said. "He had the biggest smile. He looked up and I know he's been playing real good hockey for us, just hasn't gotten the results."
Just about the only thing the Caps didn't get was a goal from T.J. Oshie, but he had several scoring opportunities on the night in what was an encouraging performance.
There was not much for Caps fans to be happy about in February. Even the team's wins seemed lackluster as they came against weaker opponents. Saturday's game was Washington's first win over a team in playoff position since Feb. 15 when they beat the Minnesota Wild.
The biggest question facing this team when the calendar turned to March and with the playoffs looming is who are the real Capitals? Are they the team that led their highly competitive division for much of the season or the team that couldn't get out of its own way in February?
Just as every loss began to feel more damning, Saturday showed both the fans and the players that the dominant Capitals haven't gone anywhere.