Rangers Vs. Capitals Preview: Rangers Face Capitals On Hockey Day In America

The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will meet for the first time season the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The New York Rangers will be in front of their home crowd this evening as they take on the Washington Capitals on Hockey Day in America. The New York Rangers are coming off of a very disappointing loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday in a shootout. For the Capitals, they are currently riding a three game winning streak, beating the Lightning, and Panthers twice.


Washington Capitals (5-8-1) vs New York Rangers (7-5-1)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - 6:00 PM
Television: NBC Sports Network | Radio: ESPN NY 98.7
Opponent's Blog: Jaspers' Rink | Tickets: New York Rangers Tickets

The New York Rangers didn't play an overall terrible game, and as a matter of fact, they even controlled the play for all of the first period, and a majority of the third period as well. The first seven or eight minutes of the second period was a major area of concern, considering the last two games the Rangers have blown two goal leads in a matter of minutes.

It's been a combination of bad bounces, terrible coverage in the defensive zone, and way too many odd-man rushes coming the other way. For once, the offense hasn't been the problem. The problem lies with keeping the pucks out of their own net. The Rangers are notorious for their defensive minded game, so I'm guessing it will eventually come in time. Hopefully.

Some Quick Thoughts:

*** Rick Nash is still in question for tonight as he missed practice with a maintenance day. Nash also missed a season ticket event over the weekend where the Rangers advised the crowd that he was sick. What makes it even worse is that the Rangers recalled Chris Kreider just two hours after John Tortorella said he needed more seasoning in the AHL this year. Something does add up right now, but I guess we'll find out at 4:45 PM when John Tortorella addresses the media during the pre-game.

*** Mike Green will be a scratch for the Washington Capitals tonight as he is nursing a lower-body injury that he sustained in practice. As a result, former Ranger Tom Poti will slot into the lineup tonight to replace Mike Green.

*** I'd expect that Henrik Lundqvist will be back in between the pipes tonight, as he had the night off against the New York Islanders.

Projected Lineup:

Marian Gaborik - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash/Chris Kreider
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - J.T. Miller
Arron Asham - Jeff Halpern - Darroll Powe

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Matt Gilroy

Martin Biron
Henrik Lundqvist

Scratches: Stu Bickel (healthy), Steve Eminger (AHL assignment).