Washington Capitals Who Must Step Up If Team Wants to Contend

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Washington Capitals Who Must Step Up If Team Wants to Contend
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After starting off the season 0-3, the Capitals have improved their record to 1-3-1 after losing to the New Jersey Devils in overtime and defeating the Buffalo Sabres in Washington on Sunday.

This is no time for the Capitals to relax, though, as they need to work quickly to even their record so that they don't fall behind other teams in the Southeast Division in this shortened season.

Thus far, right winger Joel Ward is the Caps' leading scorer with three goals, and captain Alex Ovechkin just recorded his first goal of the season on Sunday.

The team can't afford for Ward to be the only goal-scorer on the ice, and the defensemen have to step up their play and take some of the pressure off goalies Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth. 

Washington needs a few key players to improve their play on the ice and show a little more fire than they have so far this season if they wan't to contend. As of Monday night, Washington was fourth in the Southeast Division with three points, behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, whom the Caps lost to in the season opener, and the Winnipeg Jets, whom Washington lost to when the Jets were playing their third game in four days. 

In this 48-game season, the Capitals don't have time to keep thinking about what changes they need to make, they need to do it immediately, before they fall even further behind the division leaders.

Although the Capitals may improve over time with more practice under Adam Oates' system, they first need several players to step up and play better if they want to straighten out this season before it gets worse. 

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