Originally posted on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 5/7/12

#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.  

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin in war of words over 'disrespect'

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker