After storming out of the gates with the best start in franchise history, the Washington Capitals look to build on their seven-game unbeaten streak with a pair of matchups against Western Canadian foes over the next three days.
With each game, it will become increasingly difficult for the Caps to remain unbeaten, as they've clearly established themselves as the team to beat, meaning there will be more incentive for their opponents.
Tonight's game against Edmonton, for example, presents the young Oilers with a chance to demonstrate their mettle early in the season. On Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks, who have struggled early on, will be granted the opportunity to show they're still a front-runner for the 2012 Stanley Cup when they take on a potential Cup finalist on home ice.
Meanwhile, the Capitals, who have thoroughly dominated their last two opponents by a combined score of 12-3, have to believe that if they continue to play at the level they've shown they're capable of, there's a good chance they'll emerge from the weekend without a blemish on their record.
With that in mind, here are five keys to the Capitals' success in remaining unbeaten through the weekend.