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Rangers vs Capitals - Open Game Thread

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The Rangers take on the Capitals in their first meeting of the 2015-16 season.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals make their first return to Madison Square Garden after giving up a 3-1 series lead in last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is a different looking Capitals team, however, with newcomers Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie making names for themselves in Washington. Combine that with the always scary Alex Ovechkin and up-and-coming Evgeny Kuznetsov, and solid as ever netminder Braden Holtby, this is a Capitals team that is poised to make a deep run in the spring. Here is the full Washington lineup:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Andre Burakovsky

Brooks Laich - Chandler Stephenson - Tom Wilson

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

The Rangers will certainly have their hands full tonight with that first line of offense, and have decided to bump Dan Girardi back up to the first pairing. Dylan McIlrath will be playing in his second regular season game, after making his debut against Winnipeg on October 13th. He will be on the third pairing with Keith Yandle. Here is the projected Rangers lineup:

Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Jesper Fast

Oscar Lindberg - Kevin Hayes - Viktor Stalberg

J.T. Miller - Dominic Moore - Jarret Stoll

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Kevin Klein

Keith Yandle - Dylan McIlrath

Henrik Lundqvist

Look for the Nash-Brass-Zucc line to continue their hot streak, as they accounted for all 3 goals and all 9 points in the win over Toronto. The Rangers will also have to be very careful and try to stay out of the penalty box, as we all know what this Washington powerplay (read: Ovechkin) is capable of. If we can keep this at a 5-on-5 game and control the pace, I think we have a good shot at 2 points.

Let's go Rangers.