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Green focused on Game 7, not future with Capitals

by Mike G. Morreale /

NEW YORK -- Mike Green, the longest tenured defenseman on the Washington Capitals, wasn't in any mood to discuss his future with the organization hours before Game 7 on Wednesday against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Green, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is just looking forward to helping the only team he's ever played for advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite being the subject of numerous rumors prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2, the 29-year-old is not thinking about the possibility of this being his final game as a member of the Capitals.

"It's not on my mind; we'll see what happens," Green said. "Right now all I care about is playing for as long as I can [with the Capitals] and [Wednesday] is the night we need to continue it. There are too many friendships and pals I've made over the years; I wouldn't want to go to the Stanley Cup Final with any other group of guys."

For Green, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Wednesday will mark the ninth time in 11 playoff series that the Capitals have played a Game 7. Washington is 3-5 in those games and the veteran trio has never made it past the second round.

Green appeared calm and composed while sitting at his locker following the Capitals' morning skate at Madison Square Garden. It was at the Garden where Green tied an NHL record by scoring a goal in his seventh straight regular-season game on Feb. 11, 2009. He'd set the record three nights later with a goal in a victory on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Green expects as intense a Game 7 as he's ever played and is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's more of a challenge as a team," Green said. "We have an opportunity and it's about seizing that opportunity; the process is the fun part. The two hours or two-and-a-half hours on the ice is the fun part and everything leading up it is what it is, but when we get out there that's when we take care of business."

Green, who finished with at least 30 assists for the fourth time in his career during the regular season, scored 40-plus points for the first time in five seasons. He ranks fifth on Washington's all-time list for points (360) by a defenseman in 10 seasons.

He sensed something special about this group early in the season and doesn't want it to end.

"At about midway through the season you get that feeling; just the way the bond was and how we were able to come together," Green said. "There are some new faces and a new coaching staff and general manager but everything came together quickly."

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