New York Rangers Rival Washington Capitals in Game Four


Once again, the New York Rangers need to play catch up in the series against the Washington Capitals, but this time it’s much more crucial that they do.

  • Time: 7:30 pm EST
  • Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Where to watch: NBCSN, SN, TVA2

Sure, the New York Rangers took care of Round One in five games, but that never meant Round Two would be a cake walk. It’s a different round, and a very different team; the Washington Capitals are deadly in high pressure situations (2015 Winter Classic anybody? Their Round One against the Isles? Or even Game One of this series for that matter?) and the Rangers need to rise to the challenge.

New York Rangers

Obviously, Rangers offense needs to have a better performance tonight than they did in Game Three. It’s very difficult to win if there’s a big ol’ goose egg for your team on the score board.

Rick Nash, for one, was fantastic in the last contest. His two-way play was put to work, during even strength and the penalty kill. But everyone is still waiting for him to hit twine for a big goal. He’s had so many great looks at the net throughout the postseason, but somehow he’s only put one puck past the goal line. If there was ever a time that the Rangers really needed Nash to start producing goals (plural) in the playoffs, now is that time.

There’s not much else Alain Vigneault can ask for as far as defense and goaltending goes. Both have been excellent. Keith Yandle may have been the last one to touch the puck before it went in his own net the other night, but it was a lucky bounce and they can happen to anyone, for or against you.

For the Rangers lineup, click here.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are looking to create a wider gap between the two teams in this series. Despite inferior puck possession, their offense has had the most skill and the most luck in finding the twine. Should they continue their lucky streak to win Game Four, they’ll only need one more win to head to the Third Round.

This puts the Rangers in a tight situation tonight. This game isn’t exactly a must win for them, but it’s pretty darn close to it. Washington knows this and they’re going to do everything in their power to frustrate the Rangers.

To do that, the Caps will most likely carry their physical brand into Game Four, just as they’ve done in every Playoffs game. Brooks Orpik has been the toughest player with a recorded 54 hits, the most of all the Caps and second only to Chicago BlackhawksBryan Bickell in the Playoffs. On top of that, Ovechkin is fourth in the league while the most physical Ranger is Chris Kreider way down in 11th place.

It seems as if the Caps’ physical play has thrown the Rangers off their game, robbing their focus at times (the small fights, the missed shots). But the Rangers are in desperation mode tonight. It will take a lot more than big hits for Washington to steal the Rangers’ concentration on winning this time around.

For the Capitals lineup, click here.

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