Jim Williams: Beninati loves must-win situations like Game 4 for the Capitals

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Comcast SportsNet play-by-play man extraordinaire Joe Beninati lives for events like Thursday night's Stanley Cup playoff game between the Capitals and the Bruins. There's nothing he finds more exciting than a "must-win situation."

On Wednesday, Beninati was getting ready for Game 4 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series -- and what he hopes is not his last of the season. Game 5 on Saturday will be on NBC, so there are no assurances CSN will get another game.

What do you expect in Game 4?

Beninati » "[I] expect the Caps to rally around the fact that they will be playing without Nicklas Backstrom. I know that people say that you can't compare the regular season to the playoffs, but that said, the Caps did beat Boston three times without Nick. They need to play their game and not get into the physical game that Boston likes to play. They did that in both games in Boston, but in Game 3 here in Washington, they let the Bruins play their game, and it cost them."

Can you talk about Dale Hunter's system?

Beninati » "The best way to describe the Hunter system is to be safe and not sorry. Stay on defense and then counterattack with both speed and skill. You won't make the highlights, but it is a style that will keep you in every game and put you in place to win. The Caps were not built to play that way, but to their credit they have bought into the system and they can win playing the counterattack-style game."

How is broadcasting a playoff game different?

Beninati » "Well, we have our CSN crew, plus NBC Sports Network, NESN Boston and the CBC all working side-by-side. It is more about the production side with more cameras, replays and overall coverage. So the viewers at home are getting some expanded coverage than during a regular-season game. I love that CSN has our shows on-site so that everyone can get a feel for Stanley Cup playoff hockey, one of sport's most exciting events."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!, on washingtonexaminer.com.

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Jim Williams

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The Washington Examiner