The 2021-22 regular season is set to conclude today, and that means its the end of the line for half of the league’s team’s. For the first time since 2017, the Rangers are not among the teams who’s season is ending prior to the first round of the playoffs, as today’s meeting with the Washington Capitals could serve as a preview of the opening round.
As things currently stand, the Rangers are set to host the Pittsburgh Penguins to begin the playoffs, while the Capitals are staring at a matchup with the Presidents Trophy winning Florida Panthers. If Washington defeats the Rangers tonight while Pittsburgh’s loses in regulation to the Buffalo Sabres, a game which is going on simultaneously to this one, then Washington will meet the Rangers to begin the playoffs while Pittsburgh will square off with the Panthers. Any other permutation, whether it be the Capitals losing, Pittsburgh winning, or even just managing to go to overtime, and the current matchups will hold.
Player to Watch: Ryan Reaves
If tonight’s game does end up being the precursor to a playoff matchup, expect the physicality to be ratcheted up to eleven. Reaves was brought in over the offseason to combat the Tom Wilson types of the league, and no one fits that description better than the one and only Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals. Keep an eye on Reaves tonight as the Rangers close out the regular season.
Enjoy the game!