With a chance to make a statement that they weren’t about to give up the hunt for a playoff berth, the Washington Capitals instead put together an uninspired outing against a team they’re chasing.

The Capitals fell, 4-0, to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at Verizon Center, watching their playoff chances grow dimmer with every goal. With its third consecutive defeat, Washington trails the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes by 10 points with 23 games to play.

“Just embarrassing, I think. Our effort is not good enough. Especially if you’re gonna hunt that playoff spot, you can’t play like this. We’ve gotta be better than this,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “I think tonight was 60 minutes of just terrible effort from us. I don’t know what it is, but we for sure need to talk about it.”

Despite a plethora of scoring chances throughout the game, the Capitals couldn’t solve third-string Carolina netminder Justin Peters, who finished with 26 saves for his second straight shutout against Washington.

Defenseman Karl Alzner said he didn’t believe the Capitals played tough in any of the three zones.

“I think that we could have done a little bit more going to the net. A few times we could have closed off quicker in the neutral zone and in the D-zone,” Alzner said. “We’ve got to work a little bit harder to slow guys up in the neutral zone, slow them down in the D-zone and that comes from battling just a little bit harder.”