Rangers prepare for a matinee clash with the Capitals

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 14: Alexis Lafreniere #13 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2023 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 14: Alexis Lafreniere #13 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2023 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 14: Alexis Lafreniere #13 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2023, in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 14: Alexis Lafreniere #13 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2023, in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After two disappointing losses against local teams the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres, the New York Rangers are in the Capitol to take on the Washington Capitals. We’re at the stage where the Rangers are no longer playing for anything, they have clinched a playoff berth and are unlikely to catch the Devils if they were to win every game they played from this point onwards.

It’s important tonight to just avoid injuries. We’ve seen how injuries have impacted the roster so far, so keeping everyone healthy before getting into the first game of the postseason is of the utmost importance moving forward. When the Rangers take on either the Devils or the Hurricanes in the first round, they are going to be facing an opponent that is equal if not superior in strength to them, so they need to be healthy.

Ryan Lindgren is not expected to play today due to an illness that kept him out of the team’s last practice. He’s been dealing with an ongoing upper body issue since T.J. Oshie hit him high just before the trade deadline. Hopefully, he is back to his best soon and the Rangers can ice a full roster ahead of the opening game of the postseason.

New York Rangers

Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Vladimir Tarasenko
Chris Kreider – Vincent Trocheck – Patrick Kane
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey – Barclay Goodrow – Tyler Motte

Niko Mikkola – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur – Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin
Jaroslav Halak

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin – Dylan Strome – Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Craig Smith
Aliaksei Protas – Nicklas Backstrom – Sonny Milano
Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Nic Dowd – Conor Sheary

Martin Fehervary – John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin – Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev – Matt Irwin

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Puck drop time and where to watch

This is a 1 PM Eastern Puck drop on ESPN. The Rangers are in Capital One Arena in Washington DC and are looking to try and just get through will the roster fully intact. There’s not much left to play for. They’re so secure in third place in the division, and they are too far back in the hunt for home ice in round one. They will be looking to just survive without injuries in order to get refined and ready for the playoffs.