The schedule for the New York Rangers' second round match up with their all-too-familiar foes, the Washington Capitals, has been released. As many of us were already expecting and anticipating, Game One will be played on Thursday night at the Garden. Once again the Rangers will have to find a way to contain the machine that is Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and the Caps' power play in order to take another step towards lifting the Cup.
This will be the fifth time in seven years that the Blueshirts and Caps have crossed paths in the postseason. There might not have been much of a rivalry between these franchises ten years ago, but given all of the epic playoff battles we've seen in recent history we all know that this is indeed a rivalry. The battles between Rangers' defensemen and Alex Ovechkin over the years have been nerve-wracking and amazing to watch, and the amount of times we've seen these two clubs line up to shake hands after a bitter and epic series has all but guaranteed that we will be seeing some pretty intense and amazing playoff hockey come Thursday.
Here is the schedule for round two taken straight from NHL.com:
Thursday, April 30 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports Saturday, May 2 12:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports Monday, May 4 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports Wednesday, May 6 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports *Friday, May 8 7 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBCSN, TVA Sports *Sunday, May 10 TBD NY Rangers at Washington TVA Sports *Wednesday, May 13 TBD Washington at NY Rangers TVA Sports
Looks like we'll be having our first afternoon playoff game on Saturday. They never feel quite right, do they?
It also appears that the new face in the lineup that will replace Mats Zuccarello is going to be James Sheppard. At today's practice Martin St. Louis skated with Derick Brassard and Rick Nash (not surprising, Marty moved up to that line after Zuke left Game 5 against the Penguins), Jesper Fast worked with Kevin Hayes and Carl Hagelin, and Shep skated with Tanner Glass and Dominic Moore. Matt Hunwick and Kevin Klein skated together because Keith Yandle didn't participate in the practice. It's clear that he is not at 100% and that he is either dealing with an injury or some kind of ailment, hopefully this extended break in the action will be just what the doctor ordered for Yandle who still played pretty darn well in the first round considering he was hurting and/or sick.
Well, there you have it Rangers fans, the second chapter of the Rangers' 2015 Playoff story begins on Thursday at 7:30 PM. Let's do this.
Let's go Rangers.