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John Erskine wasn’t the star of the show in Game 4, but he made an impact with some physical play. Not only did the big defenseman crush David Krejci with a hit in the third period, but he was essential at keeping the Bruins under control around the net.

“It’s nice to have a guy like Erskine back in the lineup,” Holtby said. “He hasn’t played for a while and comes with that physical edge that when guys come to the net, they’re not messing around with Ersky.”

It was Erskine’s first game since Feb. 12, and he played 11:02.

Beagle’s ‘good sting’

Teammates called Jay Beagle’s block of Johnny Boychuk’s one-timer in the final seconds of Game 4 one of the key plays of the Caps’ 2-1 victory. It hurt, knocking the wind out of the forward, but he didn’t mind.

“It hit me kind of in the chest. But it’s a good sting,” Beagle said. “That’s why I play the game. To be out there in those pivotal moments, that’s the most fun.”

Beagle has developed into a key role player in a shutdown role and on faceoffs. Part of his game, though, is getting in front of pucks.

“That’s my job, I feel like,” he said. “When the coaches put me out there in the last nine seconds, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to block that shot.”

• Game 6 at Verizon Center will be played Sunday at 3 p.m.