New York Rangers Face Washington Capitals in Game One


The New York Rangers are back at Madison Square Garden for Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their next rival: Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

  • Time: 7:30 pm EST
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York NY
  • Where to watch: CBC, TVA, NBCSN

After defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round One, the New York Rangers will face their next opponent: the Washington Capitals. And the Rangers are already in the right mindset, judging by their twitter account which no longer uses capital letters. Good one, Rangers twitter.

New York Rangers

With Mats Zuccarello out due to injury, the lineup will now include James Sheppard on the fourth line. In 14 games played with New York, Sheppard recorded two goals. Maybe he could add some quality offense to the fourth line tonight.

Defenseman Kevin Klein is fully healed from a broken arm sustained over a month ago. He will replace Matt Hunwick to skate alongside Keith Yandle. Has he had enough practice and enough strength to play at his best level tonight? My guess is that he would need some time readjusting to the game, especially coming back during the postseason. But whether or not he lives up to his two-way play tonight, we’ll find out soon enough.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Defense altogether will have to be on point in order to stave off the Caps’ star forward, Alex Ovechkin. Nevertheless, should “Alexander the Great” get by defense, Henrik Lundqvist will be in net to stop him. His performance in these Playoffs has earned him an outstanding .939 SV% and a 1.53 GAA. If not Lundqvist, Cam Talbot could be used in net. The Goal Buster has played in three of the four match ups with Washington but was between the pipes for the Rangers’ 5-2 loss. Thus, having Lundqvist in the crease would probably be the best bet for the Blueshirts in this Round.

For the complete Rangers lineup, click here.

Washington Capitals

This team has gone through a lot just to get to Round Two. From battling the New York Islanders in a full and tough seven-game series, the Caps are coming into tonight’s game with sort of a disadvantage. They are definitely going to be more weary than the Rangers, but whether or not they’ll show it is still left to be seen. They’re a physical group, so the Rangers should be expecting a hard hitting match up.

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Ovechkin especially has been a thorn in the Rangers’ side in the regular season and he most definitely will be in the playoffs. Although the Rangers won three out of four games, going 3-1-0 over the regular season, Ovechkin always made sure to score a goal. He had five goals over the four games, including one power play goal in every single game. That’s nuts. If the Rangers get caught on the penalty kill, they’ll 100% need to keep Ovechkin covered.

Goaltender Braden Holtby should prove to be a challenge for the Rangers offense. He has a .943 SV% and 1.63 GAA: a better save percentage, but a slightly inferior goals against average compared to Hank.

For the complete Capitals lineup, click here.

All in all, the Broadway Blueshirts have to know that they need to fight for every inch no matter how the circumstances may appear. They can’t afford to give a lot of slack if they gain the early lead or lose momentum when they gain it, otherwise Alain Vigneault will have to lose his cool again. And for that same reason, the Rangers power play absolutely must be up to par tonight.

Next: Rangers in Better Position in Playoffs than Last Year

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