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Posted at 04:20 PM ET, 04/13/2012

Laich: Capitals have to create more space for Ovechkin vs. Bruins


Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Jeff Halpern share a laugh during practice Friday in Boston. (Jonathan Newton/Washington Post)

Capitals forward Brooks Laich spoke to reporters after Friday’s practice about what needs to be different Saturday — particularly in terms of getting linemate Alex Ovechkin away from the Bruins who shut him down in Game 1.

With defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in his face on every shift, the Capitals’ star left wing attempted just two shots all game. That, Laich said, will have to change Saturday.

“We know [Alex] is going to be keyed on.” Laich said. “We know Chara is going to come across the ice a lot and try to pinch Alex off. We can try and talk to [Alex], try to run picks for him, try to get our bodies in the way.

“When we get the puck, we have to skate. If we move the puck quick before they’re allowed to adjust their defense, whether it’s from the wing to the middle to the other wing, or diagonal all the way, there are some things we’re going to try tomorrow to open it up for him.”

More from Laich is after the jump.

Q: Do you think you can win with Ovi just hitting? Or do you need him to score to win?

Laich: “He’s a big part of our offense. Look at the game last night …both teams are trying to key on the other team’s top guys. Ovi is obviously a focus of theirs. Our line, we want to score. We’re counted on to score. We want to do that.

“But if we’re not giving anything up, that’s a goal of ours, too. We’re playing against a very talented offensive line [Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.] But we definitely want to produce at the other end.”

Q: Do you still feel good about the way you played last night?

Laich: “Yeah, I thought we played a very good game. We looked at some video today and there are some things we’d like to clean up. We want to stay out of the penalty box a little bit more. I think we only gave up four or five scoring chances five-on-five. I still think we can play better.”

Q: How different is it playing Game 1 and Game 2 away from home after getting used to hosting those two?

Laich: “It doesn’t change how you’re going to play. We’re not going to play any different in Boston than we are at home. The only thing different is the matchups. They get the last change.

“They got the goal in overtime. We had a good practice today and we’ll look to rebound tomorrow.”

A couple more photos from today’s practice:
Capitals Coach Dale Hunter skates with centers Marcus Johansson and center Mattias Sjogren. (Jonathan Newton/Washington Post)


Coach Dale Hunter talks with center Nicklas Backstrom. (Jonathan Newton/Washington Post)

More on the Capitals:
Krejci says he’s fine for Game 2
The hit heard’round the NHL
Game 1: Capitals fall to Bruins in OT
Ovechkin needs to focus on offense
Nothing but praise for Braden Holtby
Photos: Scenes from Game 1 at TD Garden
First-round NHL playoff schedule
Interactive: Capitals vs. Bruins shot tracker.

By  |  04:20 PM ET, 04/13/2012

 
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