(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals look to avoid a third loss in a row on Sunday evening when they conclude a five-game road trip with a clash against the Boston Bruins.
The Capitals are just 1-3-0 on their swing, dropping recent contests to the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars. Washington was edged 4-2 by Dallas on Friday, giving up three power-play goals.
Curtis Glencross and Evgeny Kuznetsov each lit the lamp for Washington, while Braden Holtby gave up all four goals on 22 shots before getting lifted during the second period. Justin Peters stopped all nine shots he faced in relief.
This slump by the Caps has dropped them six points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division and they are now tied with the Bruins for the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. The clubs are six points ahead of the Florida Panthers and seven up on the Ottawa Senators.
"I need some urgency in our room," Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said. "We need to play playoff hockey and we're not to the level that we need to (be)."
Washington played without defenseman Brooks Orpik for a second game in a row, while forward Jay Beagle missed Friday's loss due to an upper-body ailment.
The Capitals begin a three-game road trip on Monday in Buffalo and it is unknown if Trotz will break up the starts between Holtby and Peters. Holtby is 5-2-0 with a 2.09 goals against average and .940 save percentage in seven games (6 starts) versus the Bruins, while Peters is 1-0-0 with a 4.64 GAA and .866 save percentage in three matchups (2 starts).
Holtby made 29 saves and Alex Ovechkin scored twice in a 4-0 win at Boston on Oct. 11. That was the first of three meetings between the clubs this season and was the Caps' sixth triumph in the last nine encounters.
Washington has won nine of its last 13 at home in this series.
The Bruins, though, have matched a season high with five straight victories overall, extending that run with Saturday's 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for his third shutout of the season and Milan Lucic scored in the first period.
Lucic's tally marked the 11th straight game that Boston has scored the first goal, the longest stretch for the club since it did so in 12 straight from Feb. 3-26, 1990.
"I don't think we gave them too many great scoring chances," said Rask following his 26th career shutout. "Defensively, we played a solid game."
Zdeno Chara added an empty-net goal in the final minute for Boston, which improved to 7-0-1 in its last eight.
Boston hasn't won six in a row since a 12-game tear from March 2-22, 2014.