Capitals well-rested for Game 4

Capitals well-rested for Game 4
May 4, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Capitals left wing Matt Hendricks, who delivered a game-high 11 hits in Wednesday nights triple overtime loss to the New York Rangers, spent Thursday afternoon spreading grass seed.

Defenseman Dennis Wideman, who played a team-high and career-high 41 minutes, 40 seconds, drove to the Capitals practice facility in Arlington and submerged himself in a hot tub. Later, he took his dogs on a walk.

Karl Alzner played some tennis with his girlfriend, Braden Holtby caught a mid-afternoon nap and Joel Ward spent the day at the (collective sigh) Department of Motor Vehicles.

The most relieved member of the Capitals might have been Brooks Laich once he wiped the sleep out of his eyes and realized what day it was.

I had a long, deep sleep and I woke up and thought the season was over, Laich said Friday after a brisk practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. I refreshed my mind and realized we only lost one hockey game.

The Capitals trail the Rangers two games to one in their best-of-seven second-round series and are following a similar script to the one written in Round 1, when they split the first two games in Boston, lost Game 3 in Washington and went on to win the series in seven games.

The most pivotal game of the series will be Game 4 on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

Its sunny outside, Laich said. Were in the same position we were in Round 1. Somebodys going to win that hockey game and somebodys going to lose. Unfortunately, we didnt win it. All its going to do is motivate us to win Game 4 even more.

Jay Beagle says the most important thing for athletes before, during and after marathon games is loading up on the right foods. During Game 3 most of the Capitals sucked on orange slices, ate dozens of bananas and hydrated with water and bottles of Pedialyte because of its high elecrtolytes.

Beagle said he took two or three naps on Wednesday and when he wasn't sleeping he was trying to regain the weight he lost in Game 3 by eating high-iron foods like beef jerky, steak and Bison burgers cooked by Alzner.

Hendricks said he was surprised he didn't ache a little more after throwing his body around the ice like a slingshot.

I felt better than I thought, Hendricks said. After the game I was pretty sore, pretty tired. Fatigue had set it. That was the hardest game I think Ive played in my career. It was intense the entire time. I know the pace slowed down after the first overtime but it didnt feel like it to us.

Laich said that once the game moved into the third overtime players began realizing its historic significance. It ended as the 20th-longest game in NHL history.

The longer it went the more fun it got, he said. I was trying to end it every time I stepped on the ice. We believed we were going to get the win but now that we didnt it motivates us more to win the next one.

Mike Knuble, the oldest player on the ice at 39, said he felt refreshed after playing just 17:41 in Game 3.

Im sure fans in Washington think it would have been more of a classic, he said, if we won.