The Capitals held one final full practice before they fly up to Boston this afternoon for the seventh and deciding game tomorrow against the Bruins at 7:30pm.
“When it come to playoff time you got to play playoff style hockey,” Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said. “Hard hockey, grinding it out, limit your turnovers and you got to go to the net hard. Goals are scored around the blue paint and that’s where if you want to score you’re going to get rewarded right there.”
This is the first time during the Caps five season playoff run that they will be on the road for a game seven. In the four previous game sevens during the last five seasons, 2008 against Philadelphia, 2009 against New York (Rangers) and Pittsburgh and 2010 against Montreal, the Caps are 1-3 only defeating the New York Rangers.
“I think mentally we’re ready and everybody knows in this locker room we can do it,” Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin said.
Mattias Sjogren was the only healthy Capital not to skate today at practice. He had an appointment regarding immigration and will join the team at Dulles for their flight to Boston.
The Caps lines looked like: Ovechkin-Laich-Brouwer, Johansson-Backstrom-Semin, Hendricks-Beagle-Chimera, Knuble-Aucoin-Ward, Perreault-Halpern, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman, Erskine-Orlov.
Jeff Schultz could be back in the line up after being a healthy scratch the previous two games.
“It’s a chance for me to get back in. It’s all or nothing and I’ll just go out there and play,” Schultz said. “They’re really good at getting shots through and they crash the net hard and they really look for those odd-man rushes.”
Braden Holtby (3-3, 2.18 GAA, .935 Save pct.) will make his seventh straight NHL playoff start in goal for the Capitals. Tim Thomas (3-3, 2.18 GAA, .922 Save pct.) will be in net for the Boston Bruins.
Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun didn’t skate today.
The Caps are 4-1 in Boston this season including the regular season and have won 2 of 3 in Boston during this series.
“Obviously we know what’s at stake, but at the same time it’s still a game- it’s no different from any other game- it just happens to be a Game 7,” Caps forward Joel Ward said. “I think with Braden’s approach he’s been unbelievable and very calm and he’s been thrown into the fire and as you can he’s done a heck of a job. So again, we’re excited for the opportunity, we know he’ll play well for us and it’s our job to play well in front of him.”
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Karl Alzner, Brooks Laich, Braden Holtby, Matt Hendricks and Joel Ward had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Troy Brouwer Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Brooks Laich Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
Matt Hendricks Practice Audio
Joel Ward Practice Audio