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The Caps won their 9th straight game last night on the road in Montreal against the team that booted ’em out of last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round.

Just a couple weeks after doom and gloom consumed the Washington fan base, the team is now in second place in the Eastern Conference and have the third-most points in the entire NHL.

Some day, Capsologists* will surely look back at the 2010-2011 season and recall that the turning point came when fans at the Verizon Center booed the home team in the March 1 game vs. the Islanders, even though Washington was only down by one goal.

The Caps had the whole arena on their side that night after Alex Ovechkin‘s OT goal won it, 2-1.

The team hasn’t lost since.

And, heading into Title Town for tonight’s matchup with perennial Cup contenders and the Western Conference’s current second-place squad, the Detroit Red Wings, there’s an air of invincibility around the Caps not seen around here since, well, just before the Canadiens booted ’em out of last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

*Capsologists, who like hack typists like to hedge their bets, might give the trade-deadline-day deal that brought Jason Arnott from New Jersey some credit for the local team’s turnaround, too.