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, May 5, 2012

Gameday: vs. NY Rangers, May 5 - Round Two, Game Four

The Caps must agitate Henrik Lundqvist in a pivotal game.
The Washington Capitals will welcome the New York Rangers to Verizon Center on Saturday afternoon as they play game four of their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Blueshirts.  The Rangers lead the series two games to one following a marathon game three on Wednesday night that lasted four hours and 34 minutes and was not decided until nearly 15 minutes were elapsed in the third overtime period; Marian Gaborik scored to give New York the win.  The two teams had previously split games one and two inside Madison Square Garden, so with Wednesday's win, the Rangers were able to get home ice advantage once more.  Today is a huge game for both teams, as the top seeded Rangers attempt to put a stranglehold on the series and the Capitals attempt to even it up before heading back to Madison Square Garden for game five on Monday night.

Henrik Lundqvist will get the call in goal for New York, to absolutely no one's surprise.  Lundqvist, nominated for both the Hart and Vezina Trophies this year, was stellar on Wednesday, making 45 saves in that three overtime game, including several stellar ones to keep the Caps from ending the game.  In the playoffs all told, Lundqvist has a 1.55 GAA, .944 save percentage, and one shutout.  Outside the crease, New York will almost certainly be without center Brandon Dubinsky, who has not played in this series with a leg injury and has not skated extensively.  After a win in game three, there is no reason to expect any other lineup changes from John Tortorella.

Dale Hunter will go with Braden Holtby in goal, just as he has in all ten previous playoff games.  The rookie goaltender, who has become a huge story with his unorthodox practices and big game saves, has helped carry the Capitals to this point with a 1.94 GAA and .935 save percentage; he made 47 saves on 49 shots in Wednesday's loss.  The Capitals do not have any disclosed injuries at the moment, and following practice on Friday, it is almost a sure bet that the lineup will be unchanged.  That means Dmitry Orlov and John Erskine out on the back end and Mattias Sjogren, Mathieu Perreault, and Jeff Halpern scratched among the forwards.

Puck drops 12:45-ish.  As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

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