ARLINGTON, Va (WDVM) — The Washington Capitals held their final practice at the MedStar Iceplex Monday morning, as they head to Florida to take on the Panthers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“They know how to create offense,” said T.J. Oshie. “We just got to be hard defensively and not give them any free offense, not turnover unnecessary pucks, and kind of feed into their transition.”
“We have to play defensively better, we have to play for each other, and then when the chances come we are just going to have to execute,” said Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The biggest question coming into this week was the status of Alex Ovechkin for Game 1. Head coach Peter Laviolette believes Ovechkin is moving in the right direction.
“There’s no restrictions on him out there,” said Laviolette. “You hope that tomorrow he wakes up and feels good and everything moves forward with that. But he’s had two really good days.”
The Caps come into the playoffs as the lowest seed in the eastern conference, and will take on the top team in the east. However, the team believes that the pressure is the same for every team heading into playoffs.
“I think the expectation and pressure is pretty similar for both teams,” said Kuznetsov. “I feel like the pressure is big on us too. “It should be a pretty good matchup. A couple games will go and then the teams will probably open up a little more.”
Game 1 between the Capitals and Panthers begins Tuesday night, with puck drop set to be at 7:30 p.m.