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Tim Thomas

Tight matchup turning into a hit


It was Brooks Laich who pointed out late Monday night that one never knows when a Stanley Cup playoff series will turn chippy — or worse — but that it is almost inevitable.

"Sometimes it happens right away in the first game, sometimes it takes two or three games," he said in the quiet of a losing locker room. "Things start to happen. They're trying to get you off your game, you're trying to get them off theirs."

The Washington Capitals forward smiled briefly.

"There's a lot of verbal jousting going on out there."

The verbal jousting continued well into the night Monday after Zdeno Chara's slap shot from the...