Thoughts from my personal crystal ball, a crystal ball which doesn't always give me the best results
AO and the Capitals haven't thrown in the towel on the season yet. The pens have, and have moved past that and will start to pick up their games as a strong finish to this year and precursor to a good season next year (Similar to what happened when they finished strong in 2003-2004)
AO and the Capitals will go through their toughest stretch when the season resumes and they hit their first extended losing streak. *That* will be Sids time to catch, pass, and open up a lead on AO.
Standard caveat about this just being "one man's opinion" applies.