It’s the New York Rangers final game of the season and the take on the Washington Capitals in a meeting that can huge implications for the Capitals and to some degree, for the Rangers.
The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Columbus Blue Jackets at the same time and if they win or lose in overtime or a shootout, they will play the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Regardless, the Caps have to play this game with all intention of winning in case the Pen lose. If the Penguins lose in regulation and the Caps can beat the Rangers, it will be a New York-Washington first round match-up.
As a result, expect a lineup for New York that will include more regulars than we saw in the second game of back-to-backs against Montreal. One player we won’t be seeing is Igor Shesterkin as it has been announced that Alexandar Georgiev will get the start.
We won’t be seeing Alex Ovechkin, missing his third straight game with an upper body injury along with his linemate, Nicklas Backstrom who will also sit out. Although Ovechkin was in the morning skate, they want to give him a few more days to heal completely. The Caps are prioritizing the playoffs, no matter where they finish and who they play.
Projected Starting lineups
NEW YORK RANGERS
20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 77 Vatrano
76 Brodzinski – 16 Strome – 21 Goodrow
13 Lafreniere -72 Chytil – 24 Kakko
29 Hunt – 17 Rooney – 75 Reaves
55 Lindgren -23 Fox
79 Miller -8 Trouba
12 Nemeth -54 Schneider
73 Conor Sheary – 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov – 77 T.J. Oshie
90 Marcus Johansson – 24 Connor McMichael – 43 Tom Wilson
45 Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – 20 Lars Eller – 39 Anthony Mantha
22 Johan Larsson – 26 Nic Dowd – 21 Garnet Hathaway
42 Martin Fehervary – 74 John Carlson
9 Dmitry Orlov – 3 Nick Jensen
57 Trevor van Riemsdyk – 2 Justin Schultz
30 Ilya Samsonov
41 Vitek Vanecek
How to watch and the live conversation
Game time is 7pm. The telecast will be on th MSG Network with the live stream on ESPN+.
The Blueshirts will present team awards before the game and also give their game-worn jerseys to selected fans after the game.
Blue Line Station’s live chat is up and running and you can join the conversation and talk about the game, the players, the playoffs or anything that strikes your fancy. We’ll be keeping track of the Penguins game. You can join in the comments section below.