After a stinging 3-2 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday, multiple Caps players said they wished they had a game right away to get over it. It's probably best that they didn't.

From a low-energy first 10 minutes to the obvious fatigue that led to mental mistakes late, including on the game-winning goal, they could use a respite after eight games in 13 days in six different cities. Washington went from Raleigh to Boston, came home for a game, then traveled to Pittsburgh, Winnipeg for a two-game series and immediately to New York and back home again for the Islanders. It was a whirlwind.

So for the first time since Feb. 18-20, the Caps had a day off Wednesday. They will have two legitimate practices before back-to-back games at Philadelphia and Buffalo over the weekend. But it won't be easy sitting back and watching other teams in the conference gobble points.

"The guys need rest," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "And then we need some practice time. We haven't been able to practice in two weeks."

- Brian McNally