Capitals and Nationals make it tough to decide what to watch on television

Game 4, or Game 2? How to choose between the Caps-Rangers at Verizon Center or the second of three “Take Back the Park” meetings between the Nats and Phils? The weather said Nats, the stakes said Caps, the flat screen said “Why choose?” When the flat screen talks, I listen. I worry, but I listen.

So I took back the recliner — two very angry cats retired to the basement to watch episodes of “Too Cute!” on Animal Planet — and spent the afternoon flipping.

The one drawback in this plan: The Caps are being broadcast on NBC, not Comcast. That means no Joe Beninati, no Craig Laughlin. No fair.

12:30: Here we go. There’s John Carlson . . . in the locker room.

12:31: And we’re going to the studio show. NBC already pre-empted a bunch of cartoons for hockey; why not “Jane and the Dragon,” so the game could start on time?

12:40: Here were go, for real.

12:43: First power play for the Caps. This is the easy part of the day, before the Nats start.

12:59: Alex Ovechkin scores, hopefully ending talk of whether Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is “in” the Caps’ heads. Something’s in there, but it’s not Lundqvist.

1:10: Time to flip, and Gio Gonzalez is already walking off the mound after a 1-2-3 first inning.

1:11: Thought: Now that the Nats have Taken Back the Park, how about Taking Back the Seats behind Home Plate?

1:15: Steve Lombardozzi is quite the little pest. Not sure we ought to be using “The Sniper” as a nickname in D.C., however.

1:30: Artem Anisimov ties it up with barely a minute gone in the second period. Time to check back with the Nats.

1:31: Scoreless.

1:47: Nick Backstrom’s turn. The Caps are outscoring the Nats, but then, the Rangers are outscoring the Phils, thanks to Gonzalez.

1:52: Nice double by Lombardozzi. And then Bryce Harper lines out.

1:53: You know how football players sometimes write something in their eye black? Harper could write the Declaration of Independence in his eye black today.

1:55: The NBC announcers just declared of Alexander Semin: “Whatever they pay him, it’s not enough.”

1:59: I was only with the Nats a minute. The Caps are tied 2-2?

2:14: Teddy loses again. A nation mourns.

2:18: Gio is not smiling. Unusual.

2:23: Standup double. THERE’S the smile.

2:31: While the officials check out Mike Knuble’s slide into Lundqvist, the Nats have been racking up the runs — 3-1. Oops, 4-1.

2:42: Commercials, both channels. Now’s my chance for a big ol’ glass of iced tea.

2:49: Power-play goal, Mike Green. Now, no overtime, or I’ll have a big ol’ case of the megrims.

2:53: Checking in on the Nats — 5-1, top of the seventh, Gio going strong. When I’m not watching, they’re scoring. Point taken.

2:57: The Holtby chants are starting, the Rangers have an empty net. New York and Washington media members alike are chanting “No OT.” Don’t have to be there to know that.

3:04: Series tied. Boz hailing a cab for Nats Park, where it’s . . .

3:05: . . . the bottom of the seventh. And as F.P. Santangelo points out, Ovechkin’s already in the stands (okay, it’s just his jersey), in time to see Chad Tracee, er, Tracy, homer. Nats, 7-1.

3:08: I admit, I thought the Nats without Michael Morse were in trouble, and the Nats without Morse and Ryan Zimmerman were toast. Glad to see there is more to this bench than I expected.

3:25: Lombardozzi’s up to stay. Right? Has to be.

3:29: Nats have 15 hits today. My, my.

3:34: Nats end it with a double play. Good day for Washington fans — three hours, two wins.

3:35: Time for some NBA, the Derby, more NBA, golf. But first, ice for my thumb.

For Tracee Hamilton’s previous columns, go to washingtonpost.­­com/
­hamilton
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