Jay Beagle didn’t practice today as the Caps prepare to head to New York this afternoon for the deciding game seven tomorrow against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Beagle (one goal, one assist), who missed last game with a lower body injury, is still “day-to-day” and Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter wasn’t sure if Beagle would even be on the trip to New York yet.
The Caps lines today were: Ovechkin-Laich-Johansson, Chimera-Backstrom-Semin, Ward-Hendricks-Brouwer, Aucoin-Halpern-Knuble, Perreault-Sjogren, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman, Orlov-Erskine.
Caps goalie Braden Holtby (1.95 GAA, .935 Save pct.) had a son yesterday, Benjamin Hunter Holtby, and will be starting his 14th straight NHL playoff game tomorrow. Hunter is Holtby’s mom’s maiden name.
“It was planned so it would be the least amount of a distraction to our team as possible. It was a great day,” Holtby said. “Mom and baby are doing great. But now I’m focusing on hockey.”
The Caps are playing in their second game seven of these playoffs. For Mike Green it’s his sixth game seven (2-3) and he’ll use his experience to get him through it.
“You just got to go with your instincts,” Green said. “We’re so focused on our game plan and our system that everything should just come natural to us. And just play. Play with everything you have and don’t leave anything behind. That’s Game 7s right there.”
The Caps have taken nine penalties in their last two games, and defenseman Karl Alzner knows they can’t make mistakes on the road and come back with a victory.
“You definitely don’t want to be making any mistakes,” Alzner said. “It’s hard not to though with you being so intense and so excited to play that sometimes it’s going to happen. But yeah, you got to just make sure that you’re there to bail everybody out if someone does make a mistake. Then yeah, you hope that you play well.”
The Rangers are 4-0 all-time at MSG in game sevens.
“Go out and play your game,” Hunter said. “Go out there and battle and leave it all on the ice and you’ll have no problem with that. I know our team will and their team will. It’s going to come down to who makes the hockey plays.”
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Braden Holtby, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Karl Alzner & Jason Chimera had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Mike Green Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Jason Chimera Practice Audio