Game Eighty-Two, the New York Rangers at the Washington Capitals
Season Series: 2-1-0, Rangers
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The New York Rangers will close out their regular season this afternoon as they take on the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center. Unlike the Rangers, the Capitals still have plenty to play for this afternoon as they look to lock up home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. Another interesting tidbit is that as it stands right now, the Rangers could draw four different opponents depending on how the rest of the games play out this afternoon.
The Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings are all the possible matchups for the Rangers in the first round, and the different scenarios are certainly complicated. Since my head is spinning just trying to figure them out, I'll turn the floor over to Pat Leonard, who outlined each scenario earlier this morning to make it all a little easier to understand.
Just like Thursday, the Rangers will be resting both Marc Staal, and Rick Nash again, while Mats Zuccarello has been bumped up to a game-time decision. If Zuccarello is able to go this afternoon, is it unknown who will come out of the lineup to accommodate his spot. Other than that, everything else is expected to remain the same, and Henrik Lundqvist will get the nod in goal.
One more game of stress free hockey, and then we finally get started next Thursday. It can't come soon enough.
New York Rangers April Schedule
4/6, Blue Jackets at Rangers, 7:00 PM(WIN!) 4/7, Rangers at Devils, 7:00 PM(WIN!) 4/9, Senators at Rangers, 7:00 PM(loss)4/11, Rangers at Capitals, 12:30 PM
Bryan's Player to Watch: Henrik Lundqvist
Obviously there was a huge scare early during Thursday's game against the Ottawa Senators. Mike Zibanejad wound up landing right on Lundqvist's leg, which left him tossing and turning in pain. Luckily enough, Lundqvist was able to get back to his feet, and shake off whatever was lingering around. The Rangers can't afford to lose Lundqvist again for any extended amount of time, and keeping him healthy should be priority number one this afternoon. That goes for everyone else as well.