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 7, 2012

Gameday: at NY Rangers, Apr. 7

A familiar foe for April as the Caps close out their 82.
The Washington Capitals are in New York City this evening to play the final game of their regular season against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals, who are 5-3-2 in the last ten games, are 41-32-8 on the year for 90 standings points in 81 games.  As such, they are second in the Southeast Division, two points behind the Panthers, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, having clinched a playoff berth on Thursday.  Depending on the results of today's game, the Capitals could either win the Southeast, finish seventh, or remain in the eighth spot.  The Rangers, who were smoked by the Penguins in their last game, are 7-3-0 in their last ten games 51-23-7 overall for 109 points in 81 games.  That places them first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, as well as the entire NHL in terms of points.  This is the fourth and final regular season meeting between these two clubs this season; the Rangers lead the season series 2-1.

Henrik Lundqvist seems likely to get the call from Jon Tortorella after being rested in the Rangers' last game because of a minor hand injury.  Lundqvist, who is the favorite to walk away with the Vezina Trophy this evening, is 39-17-5 on the year with a 1.93 GAA, .931 save percentage, and eight shutouts; he beat the Capitals the last time he faced them by stopping 24 of 26 shots.  Outside the crease, center Derek Stepan is questionable with a knee injury suffered on Thursday, but other than that, the Rangers have no injuries.  Whether Tortorella decides to rest a few of his stars, however, is up in the air.

Dale Hunter has been forced to go with Braden Holtby for this game, as both of his top two goalies are injured.  Holtby earned the win in Washington's last game, making 12 saves on 14 shots, and is 3-2-1 on the year with a 2.79 GAA, .910 save percentage, and one shutout.  On the injury front, both defenseman Mike Green (illness) and Troy Brouwer (undisclosed) have to be considered questionable after both missing practice on Friday and nothing for the Capitals to play for.  Depending on the status of those two players, Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern, or Cody Eakin could get a chance up front, as could Jeff Schultz in back. Regardless, expect John Erskine to not play.

Puck drops 6:38-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

No comments:

Post a Comment