Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/16/14

#7 Washington Capitals at #1 New York Rangers
Location: Madison Square Garden
Time:
7:30 PM
TV: NBC Sports Network (HD)
Radio: 1500AM, 820 AM, and XM
Series Schedule:
Game 1:   Apr 28, 2012, WSH@NYR, 1-3 L
Game 2:   Apr 30, 2012, WSH@NYR, 3-2 W
Game 3:   May  2, 2012, NYR@WSH, 1-2 L (3OT)
Game 4:   May  7, 2012, WSH@NYR, 3-2 W
Game 6:   May  9, 2012, NYR@WSH, TBD
Game 7*: May 12, 2012, WSH@NYR, TBD
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals:  D Steve Eminger (212 GP, 2002-08)
Former Ranger:  RW Mike Knuble (141 GP, 1998-2000)
Know The Enemy: Our Bloguin Partner: The New York Rangers Blog, Blueshirt Banter

Read on.


Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals won a huge game four on their home ice to even the series.  Now they must head back to Madison Square Garden for a pivotal game five.  The Capitals were able to get good pressure on the Rangers right from the start by making sart plays with the puck.  If the Capitals can continue their forecheck and keep the puck from getting to the front of their net like they did (26 blocks in game 4), they should be able to neutralize the Rangers for the remainder of the series.  

After winning a huge triple-overtime game in game 3, the New York Rangers lost any momentum from that game when Mike Green's powerplay goal trickled through Henrik Lundqvist's pads.  The Rangers rely on a high-energy, up-tempo game to pound their opponents into sumbission.  By taking the play to their opponent so much in game 3, they lacked the fire the continue that aggressive play in game 4 against a patient Capitals' team.  If the Rangers cannot get the fire back soon, their season will be over on Wednesday.  

Injury Report: Capitals' G Tomas Vokoun (groin) is out. 
-For the Rangers, RW Mats Zuccarello-Aasen (arm) and D Michael Sauer (concussion) are out.  C Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) is day-to-day. 

Three Things To Watch For:

Tricky Nick:  After being held without a goal since Game 2 of the Boston series, Nicklas Backstrom broke out with a huge counter-hit and a goal to give the Caps a big lead on Saturday afternoon.  Backstrom had been practicing hard and put forth the kind of dominant performance the Caps have come to expect from him when the going gets tough. In fact, Backstrom is at his best when the Caps' backs are against the wall.  Look for a re-energized Backstrom to have a major impact again tonight. 

The Little Things:  After playing sound hockey for nearly the entire series, the New York Rangers were victimized by uncharacteristic gaffes in game 4.  Giveaways and poor clearing attempts led to two Capitals goals and the Rangers were unable to sustain pressure in the Capitals' end for the kind of long, draining shifts the mustered earlier in the series.  If the drain of a triple overtime showed up on anyone, it was the Rangers, as their key players lacked the crispness of execution they displayed in game 3. 

Psyched Ward:  Game 5 is Joel Ward time.  In his four his previous game 5s in his career, Ward has posted four goals and four assists and his team has won three times.  All of those goals came with Nashville over the past two seasons, but that doesn't mean Ward wasn't a factor this year.  With the series tied and the Capitals clinging to the game after blowing a 2-goal lead late in the second period, Joel Ward set up the tie-breaking goal by Mike Knuble early in the third to propel the Capitals to victory.  Even in limited ice time, Ward's five points are a major reason the Capitals are where they are in the playoffs.  

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Report: Lakers offered Nash, draft picks for Rondo

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Ben Roethlisberger believes Le’Veon Bell is having MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins and other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.