A day after a humiliating 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres knocked the Capitals backward in the standings and out of the playoff picture, those who played in the game received the day off from skating.
“It was a hard game last night; a lot of emotions were involved. Save the legs,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “It’s like playoff hockey where the legs are the most important thing; they carry you around the ice so we just gave them time to rest them.”
The Capitals met as a team for a video session at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday at KCI, which was followed by an optional skate at 11 a.m. Those who participated in the on-ice session were players who have missed at least the past two games: Nicklas Backstrom (concussion), Tomas Vokoun (groin), Joel Ward and Jeff Halpern.
Washington faces the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, who are second in the East with 93 points, on Thursday night at TD Garden.
“It was coaches, they just told us all when we got in just watch the clips from last night and rest up be ready for tomorrow,” Karl Alzner said. “It was a pretty quick meeting.”
— All three goaltenders are making the trip to Boston with the team and Tomas Vokoun says he is healthy and available to play if the coaching staff wants to use him on Thursday. More on Vokoun’s status shortly.
— Joel Ward has missed three games since he took a shot off his foot against the Flyers on March 22 but said he is ready to go if needed against the Bruins.
“I think I feel pretty good,” Ward said. “It gets better and better each day. I’m just kind of waiting to see if I can maybe get in. We’re just going wait and see. But I feel pretty good overall.”