The Washington Capitals wrapped up a rare second straight day of practice in Arlington Friday morning with a shootout challenge that disguised a little conditioning with some fun. If a player from one group scored, the other team had to do sprints between the side boards.

It made for a lighthearted conclusion of this brief respite of three days between games, with players joking and chirping at each other before embarking on another critical road trip.

Beginning Saturday in Buffalo, the Capitals will play three games in four days against teams either floating on the playoff bubble like themselves or behind them in the standings.

They’re winnable contests that would go a long way to helping Washington find a route to the postseason and an opportunity to discourage some of its opponents.

“We’ve got Buffalo and we want to put them behind us, we’ve got Philly and we want to put them behind us, and then we’ve got Carolina — we want to catch them and put them behind us,” Brooks Laich said. “You always want to keep putting teams behind you and keep an eye on the teams above you.”

Washington (15-17-1) sits four points behind the eighth-place New York Rangers and seven back, but with two games in hand, of the Southeast Division leading Winnipeg Jets.