Washington Capitals (40-20-6) vs New York Rangers (35-27-4)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||16-6-1||2.40 / .917 / 1|
|New York Rangers||Alexandar Georgiev||16-14-1||3.02 / .912 / 2|
For the second half of this back-to-back, the Capitals will take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated Washington by a score of 4-1 the last time these two teams met, back on November 20th, 2019. That was the first loss the Capitals had suffered against the Rangers in eight meetings. Four of the Caps’ last seven victories over New York have come by way of shootout or overtime.
The Washington Capitals fell to the Philadelphia Flyers last night, 5-2, after being called for too many penalties, and not converting on their power plays. With Philadelphia extending their current win streak to seven games, they are now within just one point of taking first place in the Metropolitan division. Surprisingly, Washington struck first, something they haven’t done much of lately. Lars Eller potted his 16th goal of the season just beyond the 14-minute mark of the first period. The Flyers out-shot the Capitals 18-8 in the second period, and it showed. At the 7:06 mark of the second, with Garnet Hathaway in the penalty box and the Caps on their third penalty kill of the period, Travis Konecny would tie the game with his 24th of the season. Just over seven minutes later, Kevin Hayes would add to that, with his 23rd of the season, to give the Flyers a lead they would ultimately hold for the remainder of the game. Less than two minutes after Hayes’ goal, Tyler Pitlick made it 3-1. Garnet Hathaway brought Washington within one at the 18:32 mark of the second with his 8th of the season. Unfortunately, the third period would be all Philadelphia. Ivan Provorov scored his 12th at the 6:36 mark of the third period, and with just over five minutes left in the game, Scott Laughton made it 5-2, Flyers. The Capitals had received five power-plays, with two in the third, but failed to convert even once. The Flyers were 1-for-5 on the night. By the time all was said and done, Tom Wilson had put up 12 penalty minutes after dropping the gloves on two separate occasions. Braden Holtby allowed five goals on 29 shots to drop his first game in four starts. Ilya Samsonov will get the nod for Washington against the Rangers.
The New York Rangers were last in action on Tuesday evening, where they lost to the St. Louis Blues, 3-2. The Rangers were looking to end a Blues’ seven-game win streak, and a two-game losing skid of their own. With Robert Bortuzzo in the penalty box for tripping, Mika Zibanejad put his Rangers on the board at the 12:26 mark of the first period. Zibanejad’s 33rd goal of the season, and 12th power play goal, was his 14th goal in 17 games, and the centerman has 24 points in that same span. He and Artemi Panarin top their team in goal-scoring with 33 and 32 goals. Panarin is having a career-year with his new team, as he set a career-high in points (90) and goals (32) back on March 4th. New York would receive another opportunity with the man-advantage in the first, but their 6th ranked power play was unable to convert. The Blues were gifted their first power play early in the second period as Ryan Strome was called for slashing 73 seconds in. Colton Parayko, just over a minute into the man-advantage, scored his 9th of the season to tie the game at one goal each. It wasn’t until the third period that we saw a goal come at even-strength. Brayden Schenn potted his 25th of the season halfway through the period, with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. With an empty Rangers net, Jaden Schwartz sealed the win for the Blues with his 21st goal of the season. Alexandar Georgiev made 19 saves on just 21 shots and dropped his 2nd straight. Georgiev is expected to start for the Rangers against the Capitals.
The New York Rangers will be without the services of Micheal Haley (DL, upper body), and Chris Kreider (OUT, foot). Kreider suffered a foot fracture after blocking a shot versus the Flyers. Goaltending prodigy Igor Shesterkin is day-to-day with a rib fracture suffered in a vehicle accident that he and team-mate Pavel Buchnevich were involved in about a week ago. Shesterkin, however is reportedly making good progress in his recovery. For the Capitals, Radko Gudas will be the health scratch on defense, and Michal Kempny will be back in the lineup.
Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.
HockeyReference. (2020). Artemi Panarin Stats. Retrieved from https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/p/panarar01.html.
TheScore. (2019). New York Rangers News and Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/8
TheScore. (2020). Washington Capitals News and Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.