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Capitals try to avoid third straight loss in clash with Preds

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals hope to avoid a third straight setback on Sunday night as they visit the Nashville Predators.

The Capitals carried a six-game point streak (4-0-2) into Saturday afternoon's meeting with the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins, but failed to pick up a point in a 4-2 setback.

The loss dropped Washington two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings for the two wild card berths in the Eastern Conference with eight games to play for all three teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs are even with the Caps with 80 points, but have played two more games.

Jason Chimera and Evgeny Kuznetsov supplied Washington's two markers, while Braden Holtby allowed four goals on 36 shots.

"Obviously, it's frustrating. It would have been a huge win for us. But you have to give the Bruins credit. They're first in the East for a reason," said Holtby. "It was one of those games. We need to have it no matter what if want to give ourselves the best chance. Unfortunately we didn't, so we have to move on and focus on the next game."

The Predators are a longshot to make the postseason as they sit nine points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card spot in the West with seven games to play.

Nashville had won three of four before suffering a 7-3 setback to the Dallas Stars on Friday. It was a night to forget for Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne, who yielded all seven goals on 29 shots.

Michael Del Zotto, Eric Nystrom and Patric Hornqvist all scored for the Predators.

"I think we just lacked a little poise," said Nystrom. "They had a lot of energy and we were just kind of forcing plays in the right places and they did a great job putting pucks in front of the net. They were getting traffic there and they had bodies going to the net all night and they got re-direct goals. We couldn't stop the rush game."

Though Nashville snapped a three-game series home losing streak with a win over Washington on Nov. 15, 2011, the Capitals have won two straight and seven of the past eight in this series overall.

That includes a 5-2 win at home on Dec. 7, when Alex Ovechkin was one of five goal scorers for Washington and Holtby made 34 saves.

Roman Josi had a goal and an assist while Nystrom scored the other goal for the Predators.

03/30 09:28:43 ET

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