For 38 minutes on Tuesday night, the Washington Capitals put forth a complete demonstration of the game they want to play under Coach Adam Oates. They were relentless on the forecheck and dominated puck possession, creating a seemingly endless flow of scoring chances while rendering their opponent ineffective.

Momentum is a funny thing, though. A goal with 83 seconds remaining in the second period offered life for the Ottawa Senators, then a missed assignment off a faceoff early in the third allowed them to tie it and wrestle control of the contest.

Ottawa rallied from its two-goal deficit to capture a 3-2 win over the Capitals at Scotiabank Place, squashing the memory of the visitors' strong start.

But as they churn forward in this compressed schedule, the Capitals don't have time to dwell on what could have been and must focus on what they did well to keep progressing.

"It's a tough one because when you play a really good hockey game you obviously want the win. When you have a 2-0 lead that should be enough in this league," Oates said. "Of course you don't want that result, but we played good hockey. We had a couple penalties in the offensive zone, which you don't want, but I thought all in all we played a very good hockey game. You can't fault effort or decisions and it's a shame to lose."