The Washington Times - April 19, 2011, 01:44PM

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Now that the song is stuck in your head, the Caps were acting like that a lot Monday – and were a bit chippier Tuesday in preparation for Game 4 of their series against the Rangers. While reporters asked what went wrong, several players brushed off the Game 3 defeat as no biggie.

SEE RELATED:


“We lost a game, big deal. We weren’t gonna sweep through everybody and everything,” forward Brooks Laich said. “The Rangers are a good hockey team, we knew that coming in.”

Added Matt Bradley: “I don’t think anyone thought we were gonna sweep every series. We were gonna lose games in the playoffs. It’s just a matter of getting back to that work ethic and the good defensive play that we had the first two games and we’ll be fine We’re not gonna dwell on the last game.”

Read into this mindset as much as you’d like, but the Caps don’t seem like they need to change very much moving forward. Bruce Boudreau said if it weren’t for a few bounces, his team could be up 3-0 on the Rangers.

“If we win we’re up 3-1, if we lose, we’re in the middle of a series where we got two out of three coming home,” the coach said. “But I don’t even wanna talk about the negative portion of it ’cause we’re going in there to work our rear end off and win.”

On Tuesday the room wasn’t filled with as much confidence as determination to prove everyone wrong. Because in a close series, everything does get scrutinized and the Caps are a couple bounces from possibly being down as well.

“It’s the playoffs. Every shift, every second is like a war,” Alex Ovechkin said. “We have to ready 100 percent every time.”

Listen to the Caps’ veterans, though, and it’s important not to get too high or low. Scott Hannan pointed out Monday that “ebbs and flows” happen all the time.

“There’s always momentum shifts throughout the game and throughout different games,” Jason Arnott said Tuesday. “For us, we have to just focus in on what we have to do to go out and win and go up 3-1. I think that’s our main focus right now. For us to worry about what they’re doing or think about that – we can’t be worried about that. We have to get back to playing the way we can and come out with a big win.”