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Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 04/18/2012

Jay Beagle’s playoff diary: Much-needed day off before another game of chess with the Bruins


(Nick Wass - AP)

Capitals center Jay Beagle is keeping a playoff diary as Washington makes its way through the postseason. Here are his thoughts ahead of Game 4, as told by phone to The Post’s Greg Schimmel:

Arlington, 1:15 p.m. Wednesday

It was nice having an extra day off between Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 tomorrow. We came back this morning for practice excited to skate and to work to get ready for tomorrow night. If you don’t have that day off it starts to become a grind playing every other day.

My wife, Ashley, and I took our dog out to Theodore Roosevelt Island near Georgetown yesterday. I’d never been over there so we did a picnic. We packed a lunch and just walked around in there.

I grew up in Calgary and the mountains are right there, so I’m kind of an outdoorsman. I was always snowmobiling, fishing, hiking and mountain biking when I was growing up. If you go 15 minutes from my house in Calgary you’re in the foothills and it’s just open as far as the eye can see.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Washington, but it’s obviously a little different here, and I still like to get outside every chance I get. I take my dog out into the trees and we pretend we’re hunting squirrels. I keep it pretty basic. There are a lot of guys on the team who I’m sure do more exciting things than I do.

It’s tough to think back about Game 3 two days after it happened because usually our games are behind me by the next day. Today we watched video of some of the mistakes we made and some of the good things, too, and you realize it was another game that could’ve gone either way. One little breakdown makes the difference.

Their 4-on-4 goal toward the end goes off of somebody’s stick and goes in top shelf. I don’t want to say it was a fluke goal, but it was definitely unlucky to have it go in like that. Even though there were more goals scored Monday than in the first two games, it was another hard, defensive game without many opportunities, chances or odd-man-rushes. It was almost like a chess game.

At this point in the series there are no surprises. We’ve played them three times in a row now and we know what to expect. It’s just a matter of us raising our game a little bit more and doing things a little bit better to make sure we win these close games.

Personally, I know I can play a little bit better. If I make a couple little changes to my game I can be more effective on the ice.

It’s been a great series so far, and tomorrow night is the biggest game yet.

— April 15: Resting up after a big win in Boston
— April 13: What it’s like to get scored on in overtime
— April 11: Dinner in Boston and an early night ahead

More from Washington Post Sports:

Bruins team president says Boston not targetting Backstrom

Backstrom says cross check was “stupid” move

— Capitals adjust lines in preparation for Backstrom’s absence

­— Backstrom suspended for Game 4 

— NHL roundup: Chicago’s Hossa released from hospital after Torres hit 

— Hunter: Bruins are targeting Backstrom’s head 

— Were the Bruins offsides on game-winner in Game 3? 

By Jay Beagle  |  02:50 PM ET, 04/18/2012

Tags:  Playoff diary

 
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