Rangers Could See Reinforcements for Washington in Game 3

As the Rangers prepare for Game 3, their first of the series on the road, the Washington Capitals could be getting some reinforcements on the back end. According to Tom Gulitti, both Rasmus Sandin and Nick Jensen were full participants in the Capitals morning skate. 

Sandin, who the Capitals acquired from Toronto at last year's trade deadline (in an exchange involving Erik Gustafsson ironically), has been out of commission for the Capitals for the last couple of weeks. Having suffered an upper-body injury as a result of a hit involving Ottawa’s Parker Kelly, Sandin has not skated since game 79 for Washington amidst their big playoff push. In 68 games this season, Sandin has been a mainstay in the Caps top-four, registering 3 goals and 20 assists. The 24 year-old defenseman is among their most promising on the back end as this team transitions through their retool while remaining competitive. 

His partner for most of the season, is another defenseman that went down late in the regular season. Nick Jensen missed the last two games of the regular season following a scary incident involving a hit from Tampa’s Michael Eyssimont. Jensen had to be stretchered off which resulted in a rare situation where the players went to intermission before the first twenty minutes of the period was actually up. Thankfully, Jensen was reported to be conscious and alert not long afterwards. In 78 games this year, Jensen accounted for one goal and 13 assists while manning the right side of the ice, typically alongside Sandin. 

While there hasn’t yet been official word that the two will play tonight, things are certainly sounding like they are heading in that direction. On top of that, Washington’s highly coveted prospect, Ivan Miroschnichenko will make his NHL Playoff debut tonight. 

Given what happened last year, we all know the importance of the Rangers not letting up on the road. The Rangers have had a big advantage in the last two games with Washington playing extremely short handed. Regardless of who is in the lineup, the Capitals are going to come out strong, desperate to get back in the series currently down two games to none. While the potential returns of Sandin and Jensen come at the right time for Washington, the Rangers need to use this to their advantage as there could be some rust involved with several players making their playoff debut this deep in the series.