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Game #67: Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers Open Thread

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers will look to snap the three game losing streak they’re currently riding tonight in a Metropolitan Division clash. David Quinn’s squad is set to welcome the Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, and the rest of the back-to-back-to-back-back division champion Washington Capitals to the world’s most famous arena. While the Capitals looked poised to earn their fifth consecutive division title heading into the All Star break, the team has compiled an ugly 5-8-1 record since the calendar turned to February.

The two points at stake tonight are critical for both teams. After dropping a pair of divisional games to the Flyers and then losing to the St. Louis Blues two nights ago, the Rangers have lost their advantage of games in hand over their fellow Wild Card hopefuls. Meanwhile, the Capitals struggles have coincided with a hot streak in Philadelphia, and the Flyers have shrunk their deficit in the standings from 14 points at the end of January down to a single point.

Player to Watch: Kaapo Kakko

As Larry Brooks highlighted in his most recent article, Kakko’s rookie season has been a struggle. Over the last 45 games, Kakko has posted a putrid 2-8-10 stat line. The Finnish rookie’s ten points over those 45 games are the same total he posted through the first 17 games of his NHL career, so saying he’s hit a rookie wall would be a massive understatement. After an active game against St. Louis two nights ago, look for Kakko to find his way onto the score sheet for the first time since February 19th.

Enjoy the game!