Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gameday: at NY Rangers, Apr. 28 - Round Two, Game One

Ah, we meet again...
The Washington Capitals are in New York City this afternoon to take on the Rangers inside the world's most famous arena in game one of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. It took both the Capitals and Rangers seven games to beat their first round opponents, the Bruins and Senators, respectively, so both teams are in a rhythm and should be well suited for the start of this series with little rust.  This is the third time in the last four seasons that the Caps and Rangers have met in the first round of the playoffs, with Washington winning both previous series, in the 2009 first round and 2011 first round.  This year, however, the roles are flipped: the Capitals are the low seed who got in to the playoffs late and the Rangers are the top dog in the East who dominated their competition all year.  These two teams split their regular season meetings, with two victories apiece and one victory in the other team's building.

To absolutely no one's surprise, Henrik Lundqvist will get the call in goal this afternoon from head coach John Tortorella.  Lundqvist, regarded by many as the best goalie on the planet, has been nominated for both the Hart and Vezina trophies this year and has carried a 1.70 GAA, .945 save percentage, and one shutout in the playoffs so far.  Outside the crease, the Rangers have several injuries.  Center Brian Boyle has a concussion at the moment and is questionable after skating in practice on Friday, while center Brandon Dubinsky is also questionable with an undisclosed ailment.  Captain and winger Ryan Callahan, though he is technically "day-to-day" with a finger injury, will play.

Dale Hunter will continue to roll with Braden Holtby in goal following his stellar performance in the first round.  Holtby, who was in the AHL most of this year, was instrumental in bouncing the Cup champs in the first round, posting an even 2.00 GAA and .940 save percentage despite being thrown in to the lion's den, so to speak.  The Capitals currently do not have any disclosed injuries to speak of, and are almost certain to keep their lineup intact from Wednesday's game seven win over the Bruins.  That means Jeff Halpern, Mathieu Perreault, and Mattias Sjogren will be scratched among forwards, while John Erskine and Dmitry Orlov will be relegated to the press box among defensemen.

Puck drops 3:13-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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