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Game 3 was an act of attrition

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Game 3 was an act of attrition

The locker room trash can at the Verizon Center overflowed with half-eaten orange slices, banana peels and power bar wrappers.

There was even an empty container of rice with soy sauce, compliments of defenseman Karl Alzner.

Wednesday nights epic game between the Capitals and New York Rangers a 2-1 triple overtime loss that ended at 12:14 a.m. Thursday -- was the longest ever at the Verizon Center. It was also an act of physical attrition.

A long game like this is tiring, but you remember those games when you get my age, said Capitals Dale Hunter, who is 51. How much fun it was playing triple-overtime, what a battle it was and the sacrifices you made. You always have good memories, win or lose. It's always the battle. And the guys battled last night.

Hunter gave his players a complete day off and will have them report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex on at 10:30 a,m. on Friday, The line for the trainers room will be a long one.

Thirteen Capitals played 30 or more minutes in Game 3, with Dennis Wideman logging a team-high 41:40 of ice time. Ten different Rangers played more than 30 minutes, but five of them logged more than 40 minutes, including defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who played a game-high 53:21.

The D theyve got there is very mobile, but its a series, and youve just got to finish your checks on the D and hopefully tire them out, Hunter said.

One player looking forward to a day off was Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist ,who stopped 45 of 46 shots.

I think my entire body is just tired right now, Lundqvit said after the game. I just want to lay down and relax and get a massage. My neck is hurting. Its just a great feeling Thats the toughest thing - its in your head. After the fourth period I think its all in your head. Its not so much your technique or your physique its just how much can you push yourself?

Working OT: Nine of the Capitals 10 playoff games have been one-goal games and five have been decided in overtime. Theyve played in games decided in the first, second and third overtimes.

By the numbers: The Capitals and Rangers combined for 95 shots, 105 hits and 81 blocked shots. The Capitals fell to 1-3 at home in the playoffs.

Hendy watch: Matt Hendricks led the team in shots (6) and hits (11) and said the game turned on one shot. We had some really good opportunities; a couple of posts, he said. We just didnt find the back of the net and they got the last bounce, so its what we expected against the Rangers. We expected this tight checking hockey.

Beagle watch: Caps center Jay Beagle took just five of the 11 faceoffs he was on the ice for after the second overtime.

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10 changes that would make the NHL better

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USA TODAY Sports

10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.

SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.

 SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

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Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Brian MacLellan got his day with the Stanley Cup over the weekend

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan finally got his day. 

Over the weekend, MacLellan played host to the Stanley Cup, taking it home to his offseason house in Minnesota. 

MacLellan brought the Cup to Powderhorn Park, where a youth hockey tournament was being put on by the Herb Brooks Foundation. 

MacLellean talked with local media about the experience:

"It's a fun day, a fun day to see people react to the Cup," MacLellan told FOX 9 TV. "You know, it brings a lot of smiles to people's faces, people that sometimes don't get a chance to get close to it are getting an opportunity and it's fun to watch them enjoy it."

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