Battles, hockey plays, great goaltending. (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals are in New York, New York, this evening to take on the Rangers as part of “Hockey Day in America.” Washington, having won three in a row, comes in to this contest with a record of 5-8-1; their 11 standings points place them last in both the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference. The Rangers, who lost in a shootout against the Islanders in their last game, are 7-5-1 for 15 standings points; this places them third in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. This is the first meeting between these two teams this season and therefore the first since their seven-game playoff series last spring, which the Rangers won.
Henrik Lundqvist is sure to get the call in goal from John Tortorella after being rested earlier this week. Lunqvist, the reigning holder of the Vezina Trophy, has a 2.48 GAA and .912 save percentage on the season but has been much better than that of late, allowing only five goals in his last three starts. On the injury front, superstar forward Rick Nash is questionable with an undisclosed injury, and will be a game dime decision; if he cannot play, Chris Kreider will get his jersey. Other than that, Tortorella has his full lineup at his disposal.
Braden Holtby will get his fourth consecutive start from Adam Oates this evening. The young goaltender has been less than spectacular overall on the year but has been noticeably better over his last three starts, all wins; he has posted a 3.90 GAA and .877 save percentage, along with one shutout, this season. On the injury front, centers Marcus Johansson (upper body) and Brooks Laich (groin) are both still out with their injuries while defenseman Mike Green is questionable with a lower body ailment. Should Green be unable to go, Tom Poti would play for him while Roman Hamrlik would be a healthy scratch.
Puck drop will be 6:10-ish, and the game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Network.
Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.