NHL reschedules Ducks-Capitals game for April 10, doing the Ducks no favors in the process

The Ducks and Washington Capitals will play their makeup game April 10 at the Verizon Center, which means one of the longest back-to-backs in the history of back-to-backs. The Ducks and Capitals were scheduled to play Jan. 22, but a severe snowstorm forced the postponement of the game.

Because the collective-bargaining agreement prohibits games on three consecutive nights, the Ducks and Capitals could only meet at the end of the regular season. It means the Ducks will be forced to play the Colorado Avalanche on April 9 in Denver at 3:30 p.m., local time, then fly three-quarters of the way across the country.

The Ducks and Capitals play at 7:30 the next night, local time. It will be the Ducks’ fifth game in a eight-day span on two coasts. The Ducks can do themselves a favor by clinching a playoff spot well ahead of time and thereby make the makeup game meaningless. In fact, they would be wise to simply go through the motions.

If the Ducks advance to the playoffs, then they’ll likely have to fly all the way back to the West Coast to start a postseason series Wednesday or Thursday. So, there wouldn’t be much sense in wearing themselves out in what would essentially be a meaningless game in Washington, which would have clinched by then, too.

However, if the game means something for the Ducks, then all bets are off.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, team captain Ryan Getzlaf and the rest of the players were not available for immediate comment.