Standings: Capitals (28-21-5), Rangers (34-13-5)
NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (27-21-51)
WSH Leading Scorer: Alex Ovechkin (23-20-43)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (40 GS, 1.81 GAA, .940 SV%)
WSH Goaltender: Tomas Vokoun (40 GS, 2.45 GAA, .920 SV%)
Rangers Lines (probable):
Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Brandon Prust
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-Ryan Callahan
Mike Rupp-John Mitchell-Stu Bickel
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Michael Del Zotto
Steve Eminger-Anton Stralman
The King gets the start.
Scratches/Injuries: Mike Sauer (concussion), Jeff Woywitka (AHL conditioning), Wojtek Wolski (AHL conditioning), Ruslan Fedotenko (concussion)
Preview: What a weird season for the Caps. They just couldn’t do anything right under Bruce Boudreau, so they fired him. They still can’t do anything right under Dale Hunter, playing slightly over-.500 hockey. The only positive for the Caps is that Alex Ovechkin seems to finally be getting on the right track, as he’s been his usual self under Hunter.
The main difference between the Caps now and the Caps then is that the Caps now are a forechecking team that will pressure the puck carrier. The Caps then were a trapping team. The Alex’s (Ovechkin and Semin) still don’t back check much, and their defense is suspect. Tomas Vokoun has been much better in net for the Caps though, so it’s not going to be a cake walk.
Crazy Thought: Three games in a row with a powerplay goal? I think they can, I think they can.
Opponent’s Blog: Rock the Red
Game time is 12:30pm on NBC, AM1050, and XM215.