NHL playoffs 2013: John Erskine update

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NEW YORK | John Erskine was feeling good the day after taking a big hit from Ryan Callahan in the Capitals’ Game 3 loss to the Rangers, coach Adam Oates said Tuesday morning.

“I saw him this morning, myself, actually, and he said he felt good,” Oates said outside the team’s New York City hotel. “That’s good to know.”

The big defenseman left the game in the first period and “wasn’t feeling fantastic,” Oates said. Erskine was tested and returned early in the second period.

“It was good to see him come back,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “He looked a little shaken up after it happened. But Ersk is a tough guy. He’s going to come back and play hard. That’s who he is. He is one of those guys that they’re gonna try and target because he plays quite a few minutes for us. To get him back, it’s a relief. Hopefully he’s clearing his head and having some fun today and can relax.”

Erskine missed the final 4:18 of the first period but played 17:38. He did not speak to reporters Monday night or Tuesday morning.

The Caps had a day off from practice Tuesday, but Oates expressed relief that Erskine was no worse for the wear.

“That’s huge, obviously,” he said. “He took a big hit, so we were worried, and he said he felt good. We’re all glad.”

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