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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Gameday: at NY Rangers, Apr. 30 - Round Two, Game Two

This matchup is key if the Caps are to have a chance.
The Washington Capitals are in New York, New York, this evening to take on the Rangers in game two of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Madison Square Garden.  The Rangers currently lead the series one game to none, having won game one on Saturday afternoon behind an excellent performance from rookie Chris Kreider.  The game was tied at one heading in to the third period, but the Rangers dominated the final frame to pull out the convincing 3-1 win on home ice.  Today is a huge game for both teams, as the Capitals attempt to steal home ice advantage from the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the Blueshirts attempt to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.  In the last two playoff series the Caps and Rangers have played against one another, they both have a game two win.

Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal for New York after allowing one goal on 18 shots in a nice performance Saturday.  Lundqvist, nominated for both the Vezina and Hart Trophies this season, has a 1.62 GAA, .945 save percentage, and one shutout in these playoffs.  Outside the crease, the Rangers are almost certain to be without center Brandon Dubinsky, who has a hurt leg and was seen on crutches on Sunday in New York.  Center Brian Boyle is questionable with a concussion, though he did skate on Sunday and could return to the lineup for the first time since the middle of the first round.

Dale Hunter seems likely to turn to Braden Holtby once more in goal despite a decidedly poor performance in game one from the rookie goaltender, in which he allowed three goals on 14 shots.  In the playoffs so far, Holtby has a 2.13 GAA and .931 save percentage; he needs to return to those numbers for the Caps to have a chance in this game.  The Caps to not have any disclosed injuries on their team at the moment, and based on practice Sunday, it looks as though the lineup will change a bit.  Expect Jeff Schultz in with Dennis Wideman on the back end, bumping John Erskine to the press box with fellow defenseman Dmitry Orlov. The forwards will probably stay the same, meaning that Mattias Sjogren, Jeff Halpern, and Mathieu Perreault will all be scratched.

Puck drops 7:42-ish.  No recap from me tonight because of school obligations.
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