Rangers reflect at Arlington National Cemetery

Rangers reflect at Arlington National Cemetery
May 4, 2012, 6:07 pm
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While many of the Capitals were relaxing in their homes on Thursday following Wednesday nights marathon Game 3, several Rangers got out of their hotel rooms and toured Arlington National Cemetery.

The group included forwards Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky, along with Ryan McDonagh, who played a game-high 53 minutes, 21 seconds in Game 3.

McDonagh told reporters a few of the guards recognized them and told them they kept them up late on Wednesday night. Game 3 ended when Marian Gaborik beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby at 12:14 a.m.

As for the experience of touring Arlington National Cemetery, Boyle said it was something hell never forget.

It does put things in perspective, all those graves there as far as you can see, said Boyle, who is from Hingham, Mass. They laid down their lives to allow us to do what we do. We were fortunate to be able to go there. Its tough to describe. There were not a lot of words said while we were at the cemetery. We didnt know what to say.

Poor Stu: Years from now, Stu Bickel may find himself sitting in a rocking chair, telling his grandchildren about the night of May 2, 2012 when he played in the fifth-longest game in New York Rangers history.

Wow, Grandpa, his grandchildren may say, you must have been tired.

Thats where things will get a little uncomfortable for the Rangers 25-year-old defenseman.

Bickel played just 3:24 of a possible 114 minutes, 41 seconds in Game 3. He did not take a shift after the 4 minute mark of the second period.

We get in a situation when you ice Bick, and you just know this is going to go on for a while, Rangers coach John Tortorella said. Its an awful tough situation to stick Bick into after hes sitting for a while. So we just made the decision to stick with the five.

The Rangers top four defensemen -- McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto -- all played over 40 minutes. Anton Stralman played 28 minutes.

Line shuffling: Capitals coach Dale Hunter kept his four forward lines and three defense pairings intact at Fridays practice, saying he liked the way the top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson played I Game 3. Tortorella tinkered with his lines, keeping Marian Gaborik with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin; moving Artem Anisimov onto a second line with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider; dropping Ryan Callahan to a line with Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko; and dropping Brandon Prust onto a fourth line with John Mitchell and Mike Rupp. Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun skated for a third straight day.