BOSTON -- About 12 hours after playing the equivalent of an emotional 1 1/2 games over the course of four hours, the Penguins and Boston Bruins were up and about Thursday.
The Bruins reported to TD Garden, though only a couple of regulars practiced. The Penguins milled about in their hotel.
The Penguins had to deal with trailing Boston, 3-0, in the Eastern Conference final after dropping Game 3, 2-1, in double overtime Wednesday.
"These games are really tough to lose," Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun said.
Both teams were dealing with the physical fallout.
"It was a crazy game," Boston defenseman Torey Krug said. "We were lucky enough to get the win and send the fans home happy, but it definitely was pretty taxing."
Following the game, which ended after midnight, some players' faces were red, others ashen, and they bore the look of fatigue, even though they had managed the rigors of the long game as best they could.
"The staff's been helping," Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis said, explaining that team conditioning coach Mike Kadar "was making [protein] shakes and bringing food through the overtimes and letting us know what to put in our bodies to get ready for the next game."
That included a lot of liquid.
"You just try to get fluids in you and stay hydrated when it goes that late," Penguins center Brandon Sutter said. "A big part of it, too, is [the next day], getting that rest and trying to follow the same regimen, rehydrate and refresh yourself."
Krug said even during the game, players were trying to find what worked for them to keep them going.
In the playoffs, a tie at the end of regulation means full intermissions and full periods until someone scores. Center Patrice Bergeron ended it by scoring for Boston at 15:19 of the second overtime.
"Some guys do things differently than others," Krug said. "Some guys are drinking special drinks."
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played 42 minutes, 5 seconds. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang logged 40:50. Five others topped 35 minutes. And most of those players already have more ice time than many of their teammates under usual circumstances.
"That's something I think both teams are going to have to deal with in Game 4, is guys having played a lot of minutes in the last couple of hockey games," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
Game 4 is tonight at TD Garden, with the Penguins facing elimination.
"The playoffs are a grueling time, and you prepare for that," Penguins winger Matt Cooke said. "You gear up for that through the regular season.
"There may be some fatigue, but you have two days to gear up to go again. I think our guys do a great job of being in shape and being ready to go."
Toward that end, players from both teams were still in recovery mode Thursday.
"The physical toll, it was hard on everybody's body to play five periods, but you've got to do the right thing the day after and hydrate and take care of your body because [tonight] is going to be a battle again," Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk said.
Despite the fatigue, sleep didn't come quickly for everyone.
"It's tough to sleep after that," Krug said. "I'm sure there are guys that had a really hard time going to sleep."
Krug was one of them.
"Yeah, at first, and then I kind of dropped down from the high and I was exhausted," he said.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said his club fought through the long game and the aftermath as well as possible.
"You do the best you can as far as psychologically," Julien said, but he seemed even more concerned about the physical cost.
"I mean, there's two teams that have to feel the same way," he said. "When you look at Pittsburgh, they worked just as hard as we did [Wednesday] night and maybe even harder. But it's one of those things that [illustrates that] this is a tough sport, and when you look at a game like [Wednesday] night, you really learn to appreciate the athletes.
"We finished [Thursday technically], and to come back right the next day and be ready and willing to do it all over again [tonight] is pretty impressive. I think hockey players deserve a lot of credit for their conditioning, their commitment and everything else that goes with it."
Some players didn't feel the effects of double overtime so much.
Such as Boston fourth-line winger Shawn Thornton, who played 3 minutes, 56 seconds in the 95-plus minute game.
"You're asking the wrong guy," Thornton said of the rigors of the game. "I'm fresh as a daisy."
For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published June 7, 2013 4:00 AM