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“It’s always nice when your body can rest and you get ready,” left wing Martin Erat said. “I think in playoffs it doesn’t matter if you practice or not. You have to get ready for a game, whatever the best way you can do it.”

Puck over glass dilemma

A lot of players don’t like that flipping the puck over the glass from the defensive zone is an automatic delay of game penalty. Defenseman Steve Oleksy did it in Game 2, and when McDonagh was called for the penalty, the Caps scored on the ensuing power play.

Oates doesn’t mind it being a penalty, and not just because it benefited his team.

“I think it’s a good rule,” he said. “It’s designed so that there’s no free plays anymore. He didn’t control the puck, he shot it in the stands. That’s a wasted possession. It wasn’t as threatening or he wasn’t necessarily tired, but it’s a mistake.”

Defenseman Karl Alzner, who escaped a trip to the box because he deflected the puck out instead of shooting it, doesn’t like the rule because he spent much of his life accustomed to treating it like an icing call. The NHL instituted the rule in 2005, but it’s not present at every level of the sport.

“For most of the players, it’s new,” Oates said. “They’ve been playing their whole life one way and all of a sudden you’re throwing this situation in that every once in awhile it happens where a guy bats it out of the air. That’s the reaction the guy’s done his whole life. Now you’re asking him to change that. That makes it tough.”