The Capitals held their first practice today since their triple overtime loss Wednesday night and have as close to a must win game as you get tomorrow at 12:30pm in game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals from Verizon Center.
The Caps are down two games to one to the New York Rangers, but the Capitals haven’t lost back-to-back games since March 23rd and rookie goaltender Braden Holtby (1.94 GAA, .935 Save pct.) hasn’t lost back-to-back games in his last 26 starts.
A day off yesterday helped as a lot of the Caps players said they felt good today after approximately a 45 minute practice.
“Feeling good,” Caps forward Troy Brouwer. “Had a good day of rest yesterday, didn’t do a whole lot. Get out there on the ice today, you’re a little bit stiff, but at the same time you still got that excitement in your legs that you know we got a chance to tie the series up tomorrow.”
All healthy Caps practiced today and the Caps lines looked like: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Johansson, Chimera-Laich-Semin, Hendricks-Beagle-Brouwer, Knuble-Aucoin-Ward, Sjogren-Perreault-Halpern, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman, Erskine-Orlov.
Goalie Tomas Vokoun skated for the third day in a row today along with the Caps healthy scratches and Hershey call-ups. Hershey call-up Cody Eakin didn’t skate today.
This is the second time in the playoffs this season that the Capitals find themselves down two games to one. The first happened against the Boston Bruins and the Capitals ended up winning game four and game five.
“Everyone’s upbeat and excited, we just want to play again,” Caps forward Joel Ward said. “When you get this time of year you’re just tired of practicing, you just want to keep playing. We feel good. Obviously it was tough to lose, for sure. We thought we played well. We had some chances, a couple good chances, they just capitalized towards the end. We’re excited to get another chance, another crack at it and hopefully get a W this time.”
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman, Karl Alzner, Troy Brouwer, Braden Holtby, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle and Mike Knuble had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Dennis Wideman Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Troy Brouwer Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
Joel Ward Practice Audio
Jay Beagle Practice Audio
Mike Knuble Practice Audio