Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates says his club is "very concerned" about its recent rut.
Alex Ovechkin and the fading Capitals have won only one of their last six games heading into Friday night against the visiting Vancouver Canucks, which Oates calls "a must win."
Washington has 15 games left and entered Thursday in 11th place in the 16-team Eastern Conference. Only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason.
There have been various problems lately, including poor passing and puck possession. Also glaring: Ovechkin's sudden lack of scoring. The three-time NHL MVP and team captain leads the league with 44 goals, but has been held without a point in each of the last four games, matching his worst drought this season.