April 30, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) takes a shot on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period in game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Pregame: Game 3 New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

After losing Game 2 at the hands of Alex Ovechkin’s power-play winner in the third period, the New York Rangers march down to D.C. in hopes of taking a 2-1 series lead over the Washington Capitals.

In the past three postseason appearances, the Verizon Center has not been kind to the Blueshirts, who have lost five straight playoff games in Washington D.C.

However, New York has history on their side, as the franchise is 31-11 when winning Game 1 of a playoff series, including six wins in their last seven playoff series in which the team won the opening game.  

Probable Lines:
Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik
Kreider-Stepan-Callahan
Prust-Boyle-Fedotenko
Mitchell-Anisimov-Rupp

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
Del Zotto-Bickel

 

Player to Watch: Henrik Lundqvist

Although he’s been rock solid, Henrik Lundqvist’s personal history against the Capitals is more than enough to have slight doubts, particularly because Hank has dropped five straight in the playoffs at the Verizon Center and is 4-9 in his career in the second round of the playoffs.

Tonight could be an important game for Lundqvist. Go out and dominate in an arena where you’ve had issues in the past to lift your team and you’ll have less doubting your playoff abilities. Drop Game 3 in mediocre fashion and fall behind 2-1 in the series and you give detractors more ammunition.

If you’re looking for positives, take this: Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in six of nine games this postseason, including four games in which he has held opponents to one goal or less.

**Prediction-NY comes out flying. Carl Hagelin scores twice. Rangers take Game 3. 4-2 the final.

Make sure to head over to Capitals Outsider for their thoughts heading into Game 3.


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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers Washington Capitals

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