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.