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!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gameday: at NY Rangers, May 12: Round Two, Game Seven

And so, it will come to a close...
The Washington Capitals are in New York, New York, this evening to take on the Rangers to and play the seventh and decisive game in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.  The Caps and Rangers have traded wins in this series, with both teams holding a 2-1 record on home ice, and the Capitals forced this game with a decisive victory in game six; the score was only 2-1 but the Caps led virtually the entire game and were methodical in the execution of their game plan from start to finish.  Now, you have the ultimate test of nerve in sports, game seven, for the second time in this remarkable, and in almost all ways unexpected, playoff run.  You know the rules here.  Win, you play the Devils for a shot at the Holy Grail.  Lose, you play golf.

As he has for every Rangers playoff game in the last seven years, Henrik Lundqvist will get the call in goal from head coach John Tortorella, who told reporters Wednesday night that his team "sucked" more than four times. Lundqvist, however, has been excellent, making some great saves to keep his team in games and posting a 1.73 GAA, .936 save percentage, and one shutout over his 13 playoff starts.  Outside the crease, the Rangers will be without two forwards, as center Brandon Dubinsky (leg) has yet to resume skating and winger Mats Zuccarello Aasen is absent with a wrist injury; neither player has played in this series for New York.

Braden Holtby, the MVP of Washington's playoff run so far, will start in goal for the Caps.  Holtby, a 22 year old rookie from small town Saskatchewan, has posted a 1.95 GAA and .935 save percentage in his 13 playoff starts.  On the injury front, center Jay Beagle has to be considered questionable at best heading in to the game with what is being described as a leg injury; Beagle missed game six after taking a slap shot off the knee in the later stages of game five.  If Beagle is unable to play, expect no lineup changes, which means Jeff Halpern plays; if he can, my guess is that Halpern would come out.  Regardless, expect Mathieu Perreault and Mattias Sjogren to be scratched up front and Dmitry Orlov and John Erskine to remain benched among defensemen.

Puck drops 7:42-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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