Rangers Vs. Capitals Preview: Roman Hamrlik Not In Game Shape, Won't Play

Mike Stobe

The Rangers take on the Washington Capitals for the final time this regular season.

The New York Rangers are coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss at Madison Square Garden against the Ottawa Senators. The loss snapped the Rangers' four-game winning streak. Today, the Rangers are looking to get back on track against the Washington Capitals. The Rangers beat the Capitals in their last outing earlier in the year.

Washington Capitals (10-12-1) vs New York Rangers (12-9-2)

Verizon Center - Washington - 12:30 PM

Television: NBC | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7

Opponent's Blog: Japers Rink | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets

Here is an assortment of notes to chew on before the game begins:

- Roman Hamrlik won't be playing today, John Tortorella scratched him due to him not being in game shape. Hamrlik looked good against the New York Islanders, but he did look a little slower against the Ottawa Senators. Obviously three games in four nights is a lot for a player who hasn't had that much game-time experience this year. Something Hamrlik told Andrew Gross:

"I'm just sad I'm not playing but I have to work on my conditioning," added Hamrlik, then discussing his time with the Capitals when he was not playing. "It was tough. You skate pretty much every day but it's not the same. The best shape is the game situations and I missed a lot of games. Hopefully I have better skating here. When I have a chance at the lineup, I'll work as hard as I do."

- We still don't know who the starter will be tonight. My guess is that it's Henrik Lundqvist. According to Gross, Martin Biron injured his wrist (nothing serious, it was just sore) during practice, so they might want to give some time to rest. And it's not like Lundqvist doesn't thrive when he's being leaned on.

- Stu Bickel might get moved back to defense and Brian Boyle might find himself back on the fourth line. Hopefully he proves something, otherwise he might sit again.

- The Rangers offense didn't do too much against the Senators. Some guys looked good, most everyone looked tired. The Rangers had a single day of rest and now play in the afternoon. That's going to make things interesting from a fatigue standpoint. Hopefully the Rangers have their legs under them today.

- If I could give the Rangers some advise: Stay out of the box, boys.


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