The Washington Capitals have won five straight and are riding a six-game win streak.
They have been in a three-game losing streak, their longest since losing six straight in 2011-12.
But they also are riding the highest point total of any team since the 2009-10 season, when they won the Stanley Cup.
They also have been the league’s best team this season, and their playoff odds have improved over the past two seasons.
But the Capitals still face a tougher task than their rivals.
The Penguins, Flyers and Blackhawks have a combined record of 53-27-10, and the Rangers are the only other team with a losing record.
The Capitals have the second-best goal differential in the league at plus-12, and have scored a league-best 34.3 per cent of their goals this season.
The Flyers, meanwhile, have the best power play at plus 20, but have allowed a league low 30.1 per cent.
Ottawa, the league leader in goals against at plus 18, is also the best team in the Metropolitan Division.
Ottawa also is on a two-game winning streak, winning five straight, but has not scored a goal in that span.
“They’ve been pretty good all season long,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
“We’ve been playing well, but we’ve got to get a little better, and we’ve been doing that a lot.”
The Capitals are averaging nearly 10 shots per game in a six game stretch that is now tied for third-most in the NHL.
The puck is moving so quickly, the Capitals are allowing the Flyers to score just six goals in those five games.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job,” Trotz added.
“Their goalies have been good, their penalty kill has been pretty consistent.
The Flyers are in the middle of a four-game road trip that begins Monday at New Jersey and ends on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. “
But we’ve just got to be more aggressive and go after the net.”
The Flyers are in the middle of a four-game road trip that begins Monday at New Jersey and ends on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
Washington has scored just four goals in the last six games and has allowed an average of 18.3 goals per game.
That is second-most among NHL teams.
The NHL has averaged 12.2 goals per team in that time frame.
The Caps have scored at least 20 goals in four of their last five games, but they are still the league leaders in shots allowed at 17.9 per cent, and only the Rangers have allowed more.
The Rangers have scored just one goal in the past seven games.
Philadelphia has allowed just six in its past seven outings, but it is also averaging 13.1 shots per contest.
The Predators, meanwhile are averaging 10.8 shots per outing.
Nashville is coming off a five-game victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
That was the first win in Nashville’s five-year history.
The Stars are also on a five game road trip, beginning Monday in Edmonton.
The Oilers, meanwhile have won three straight and have not lost since Feb. 12.
The Ducks have won four straight games and have the league lead in goals scored.
“You can’t expect to be playing good hockey,” Ducks defenseman John Gibson said.
“(Tuesday) night was a good test for us to see how we feel about our guys.”
The Kings are also in the midst of a five day road trip beginning Tuesday in Anaheim.
“It was a little bit of a surprise tonight, especially against a good team like that,” Kings forward Jakub Voracek said.
The Panthers are on a three game winning streak and have an average goal differential of plus-7.5.
They will play the Sharks on Tuesday in San Jose.
Anaheim is the NHL’s best defensive team, but the Sharks have allowed at least three goals in seven of their past eight games.
The Sharks are averaging 7.7 shots per games and are tied for sixth in the League with 15 power play goals.
The Flames are also at home Tuesday against the Predators.
Calgary has the league-worst plus-minus at minus-6.6, and is allowing at least four goals per contest in four straight.
“When we’re not scoring we’re going to let our defense go down the pipes,” forward Mike Cammalleri said.
Anaheim has won eight of nine against the Kings.