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Rangers vs. Capitals: Another Important Divisional Matchup

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The Metropolitan Division has been the best in the NHL this year, as first and last place are separated by just nine points. Additionally, first and fifth place is separated by just five points.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WThe New York Rangers are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and are coming off a Christmas Eve Eve loss vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blueshirts are in dire need of getting back in the win column as they sit in fourth place of the Metropolitan Division with a record of 19-13-4 and 42 points.

The Washington Capitals are 7-2-1 in their last ten game and are coming off a Christmas Eve Eve loss vs. the New Jersey Devils. Washington is in prime position to solidify its standing as a top contender in the division and will look to take advantage of the Columbus Blue Jackets' injury woes. Prior to this, it would be fair to say the Blue Jackets were the team to beat, but the Capitals are making a strong case for themselves.

Capitals Team Leaders

Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the Capitals in scoring with a line of 12-26-38 in 37 games played.

Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals in goal scoring with a line of 23-14-37 in 37 games played.

John Carlson is having a sensational contract year leading WSH defenders in scoring with 27 points in 37 games while average 26:11 per night.

Braden Holtby is 20-8-9 between the pipes with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.


Rangers Team Leaders

Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in scoring with a line of 8-21-29 in 36 games played.

Michael Grabner leads the Rangers in goal scoring with a line of 17-3-20 in 36 games played.

Kevin Shattenkirk leads NYR defenders in scoring with 22 points in 36 games while averaging 20:23 per night.

Henrik Lundqvist is 17-9-3 between the pipes with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

Last Matchup

On December 9th, the Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-2 at the Verizon Center. It featured a goal 14 seconds into the game by Jay Beagle and a late goal by Tom Wilson.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams.

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin | Nicklas Backstrom | Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana | Evgeny Kuznetsov | T.J. Oshie

Brett Connolly | Lars Eller | Andre Burakovsky

Chandler Stephenson | Jay Beagle | Alex Chiasson

Dmitri Orlov | Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik | John Carlson

Christian Djoos | Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

New York Rangers

Rick Nash| Mika Zibanejad | Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider | David Desharnais | Jimmy Vesey

Michael Grabner | Kevin Hayes | J.T. Miller

Paul Carey | Boo Nieves | Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh | Nick Holden

Brendan Smith | Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei | Marc Staal

Ondrej Pavelec

Enjoy the game everyone, Let's Go Rangers!