As they travel to the Big Apple tonight, the Washington Capitals look to take out the New York Rangers to avoid playing them for the second straight year in a first-round playoff series. In addition to a victory over the Rangers, the Capitals would need the Panthers to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night. That scenario results in the Caps winning their division title for the 5th straight season and also grab the third spot in the eastern conference.

The Rangers would like to put the 5-2 loss against the Penguins behind them and grab some momentum going into the playoffs along with snatching the oh so illusive Presidents Trophy, which the Rangers last won following the 93-94 season.

Rangers coach John Tortorella showed some serious anger towards the entire Penguins organization after the loss to Pittsburgh after Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was issued a five-minute major penalty for kneeing the Rangers’ Derek Stepan. Coach Tortorella stated during the interview that Pittsburgh is one of the most arrogant organizations and they whine all the time. The rant to the media resulted in a $20,000 fine from the NHL Tortorella. Expect Tortorella to come out furious in this clash against the Caps. (Wouldn’t that be interesting! John Tortorella challenging Dale Hunter to a fight?)


Brooks Laich predicted that the Capitals would make the playoffs and it looks like his prediction has come true. The Rangers/Capitals rivalry has really heated up recently with all the post-season meetings.

  • 2008-09 Playoffs: Capitals beat the Rangers 4 games to 3
  • 2010-11 Playoffs: Capitals beat the Rangers 4 games to 1

Look for the Rangers to bring that New York grit to the ice tomorrow night. The game will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this regular season with the Rangers so far getting the grin, with a two to one game advantage.


  • Braden Holtby is expected to start in goal for Washington on Saturday with the injury to Michal Neuvirth, Holtby is 3-2-1 with a 2.79 goals-against average and .910 save percentage this season.
  • Keep an eye on the “Wolfpack”, after the game on April 5th against Florida, Capitals Brooks Laich refered to the Beagle, Brouwer, Hendricks line as the 3 stars of the hit movie “Hangover”.
  • Rangers heavy hitter Derek Stepan (knee) is a question mark for the Rangers and star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is also expected to sit out another game to rest up for a playoff run.


  • John Carlson has obtained five points against the Rangers this season
  • Rangers Ryan Calahan has done the same earning 1 goal and 4 assists in three games.
  • Look out for Alexander Semin who has been hot as of late with four points in the last three games.