With the Stanley Cup Playoffs closing in, the Capitals have 12 games remaining in the regular season. They'll try to hang on to the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and will wait for a clearer sense of who their first round opponent is.
As the Metro Division currently stands, the Capitals are in first place with 89 points. Here is how the rest of the division stands:
New York Islanders (40-22-7, 87 points)
The playoff surprise of the season after losing John Tavares in free agency to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Isles have made a season of proving doubters wrong. With former Caps bench boss Barry Trotz at the helm, the Islanders have traded the Metro Division crown with the Caps all season. They picked up a huge two points over the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 11 drawing two points closer to the Caps and first place in the Metro. Their next matchup is against the Montreal Canadiens, who are fighting for the final wild card spot.
Critically important for Caps fans is the final game of the season at home at Capital One Arena, when the Isles and Caps will face off to likely determine the top seed in the Metro.
Pittsburgh Penguins (38-23-9, 85 points)
The Penguins are perennial playoff contenders. They picked up two crucial standings points against the Capitals Tuesday night with a come-from-behind 5-3 win, and will face the ailing Buffalo Sabres Thursday.
Carolina Hurricanes (38-24-7, 83 points)
If the playoffs started today, the Hurricanes would be the Capitals opponent.
The "Bunch of Jerks" are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, and they've gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Behind a three point night from 2018 second-overall pick Andrei Svechnikov and a 38 save shutout from Petr Mrazek, the Canes dispatched the Wild Card outsider Colorado Avalanche. Two big standings points are on the line when they play the Blue Jackets on Friday.
The Caps will play the Hurricanes twice in a home-and-home over the last 12 games of the season.
Columbus Blue Jackets (39-28-2, 81 points)
The Blue Jackets went all in at the trade deadline, and acquired Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Keith Kinkaid, and Adam McQuaid. But the returns haven't been stellar, and the Jackets are .500 in their last 10 games.
Every point matters if the Jackets want to fend of the the Canadiens for the final wild card spot, and they pulled off a 7-4 win over Boston Tuesday night and can make more progress with a win over the Hurricanes Friday night.
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- Prospect Report: Analyzing what little we know about Alexeyev's injury
- Caps Mailbag: Why Hagelin and Jensen have fit in so seamlessly