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Open Game Thread: Rangers vs Capitals

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are set to play the second of three consecutive games against Metropolitan Division rivals, as they're in our nation's capital to take on the Washington Capitals tonight.

Capitals' coach Barry Trotz made headlines yesterday, as the man with zero (0) Conference Finals appearances in his eighteen seasons as an NHL head coach called out his former defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk about his lackluster performance during the Capitals' stretch run last season:

"I just think it takes a little bit of adjustment," Trotz said. "We play a little different than some teams. It worked in areas that we wanted. He helped our power play. He made it more dangerous in that. I think everybody thought of him as a 1-2 (top-pairing defenseman), and he really wasn’t, he was a little lower. I think it worked out okay.

"I think he had a patch during the one series where he wasn’t really good," Trotz continued. "I think he regained it and scored a big goal for us in Pitt. I just think, yeah, the first playoff series wasn’t… that’s what you remember, it sticks out… but I think overall, he was fine."

Since arriving in New York, Shattenkirk has made his presence felt by bringing an offensive presence to the Rangers' blue line that the franchise has lacked since Brian Leetch's time in New York. His 20 points are 1st among New York's defenseman, as are his nine power play points. Henrik Lundqvist is set to return to his crease after missing Tuesday night's action in Pittsburgh with the flu.

Player To Watch: In a game against the Washington Capitals, it would only make sense to pay close attention to a player the Caps willingly let walk away over the summer. For that reason look for Paul Carey to make his presence felt as he always does Brian MacLellan to rue the day he let Carey sign with the Rangers with an inspired performance against his former team.

Enjoy the game! Or don't.