Game 1: Rangers at Capitals tonight

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Remember to use the contests thread below for your predictions. OK?

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Here are the pre-game notes from the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS at WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game 1
Wednesday, Apr. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Verizon Center • Washington, DC

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Rangers will face-off against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m.), in Game One of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up. On Saturday, the Blueshirts defeated the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, in their regular season finale. New York finished with an 11-4-1 mark in their final 16 contests. The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a 197-212-8 record all-time in 417 playoff contests, including an 88-130-6 mark on the road.  New York has posted a 41-46-5 record all-time in Game Ones of playoff series.

New York enters the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs having posted a record of 44-33-5 (93 pts) overall with a 24-16-1 mark on the road in the regular season. The Blueshirts are one of seven Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06, and one of five Eastern Conference teams to advance to the playoffs in five of the six seasons (no team has advanced to the playoffs in all six seasons).  Compared to last season, the Rangers registered six more wins and six more points (38-33-11, 87 points in 2009-10), having tallied 11 more goals (233 this season, 222 last season) while allowing 20 fewer goals against (198 this season, 218 last season).  New York also posted a six-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (11 this season, five last season). The Rangers’ 44 wins tied for sixth most in team history, and their 24 road wins tied the franchise record (1993-94).

* The 2011 New York Rangers Playoff Media Guide is available for download on the team’s official website at http://rangers.nhl.com/v2/ext/playoffs_11/2011_NYR_PlayoffGuide.pdf

BROADCAST INFORMATION:
* TV: MSG Plus
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Capitals
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

ALL-TIME RANGERS PLAYOFF RECORDS:
* Overall: 197-212-8
* Home: 109-82-2
* Away: 88-130-6
* Goals for: 1,167
* Goals against: 1,200

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS – RANGERS vs. CAPITALS
The Rangers and Capitals are meeting in the playoffs for the sixth time overall and the second time in three years. Their last postseason encounter was an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in 2009, won by Washington 4-3. Overall, the Blueshirts have a 2-3 playoff series record vs. the Capitals, posting a 14-15 mark in 29 postseason contests.

RANGERS vs. CAPITALS:
* All-Time (Regular Season): 83-84-18-5 overall (46-37-9-2 at home; 37-47-9-3 on the road)
* 2010-11: The Rangers posted a 3-1-0 record vs. the Capitals, including a 2-0-0 mark at Verizon Center. New York out-scored Washington, 18-6, led by Brian Boyle’s seven points (three goals, four assists). The Rangers held the Capitals to one goal or less three times, including two shutouts by Henrik Lundqvist.
* Over the last two seasons, the Blueshirts have tallied 10 power play goals in 30 opportunities (33.3%) in their last eight games vs. Washington, including six goals in 17 power play attempts (35.3%) in four games in 2009-10.
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 3-4 record with a 3.00 goals against average and one shutout in seven career playoff contests vs. Washington
* Vinny Prospal leads the Rangers with six goals, eight assists and 14 points in 14 career playoff contests vs. Washington
* New York lists one former Capital on their roster: Steve Eminger (2002-03 – 2007-08)
* Washington lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Knuble (1998-99 – 1999-00); Tom Poti (2001-02 – 2005-06)

SPECIAL TEAMS
The Blueshirts posted a plus-13 rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which tied for second in the league.

* Power Play: The Rangers tallied 14 goals in 72 attempts (19.4%) in their last 21 games. New York ranked 18th overall (49-290, 16.9%) and 21st on the road (21-139, 15.1%). The Rangers were 5-15 (12:41) in five-on-three situations (last – 4/3 at PHI), and 0-7 (8:42) when four-on-three (last – 4/3 at PHI). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards); 3/20 at PIT (Kunitz).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered just two goals in 20 attempts (90.0%) on the penalty kill in the last 11 games. New York tied for ninth overall (215-257, 83.7%) and ranked sixth on the road (117-139, 84.2%). The Rangers were 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (11): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust); 3/15 vs. NYI (Prust).
* Four-on-Four: New York was plus-three in 67, four-on-four situations (134:41), and even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (7): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello); 3/4 at OTT (Stepan); 3/6 vs. PHI (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (4): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson); 3/15 vs. NYI (Moulson); 4/3 at PHI (Zherdev).

CLOSING TIME
The Blueshirts are the only team in the NHL who were undefeated when leading after two periods this season, posting a record of 29-0-0 in those contests. The Rangers tied for third in the league with a plus-22 goal differential in the third period (85 goals for, 63 goals against). New York also tied for second in the NHL with eight wins and 20 points in games in which it trailed entering the final frame.

RAISING THEIR GAME
The Rangers are undefeated in their last six games vs. the top four teams in the Eastern Conference standings, including a 6-0 win at Washington on Feb. 25. New York has out-scored their opponents, 27-7, in those contests, having tallied five or more goals in four of the six games while posting three shutouts.

CAPTAIN CLUTCH
Rangers Captain Chris Drury is tied for fourth in the NHL all-time with four playoff overtime goals, and ranks fourth among active NHL players and leads the team with 47 goals in 130 career postseason contests. Drury has participated in the playoffs eight times, having advanced to at least the Conference Finals in five of those eight seasons.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE
Henrik Lundqvist was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Mar. 27 after posting a 2-0-1 record, 0.32 GAA, .987 Sv% and two shutouts in three games. On Mar. 26, Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in a 1-0 victory at Boston to establish a new career-high with his league leading, 11th shutout of the season, while appearing in his 400th career game. His 11 shutouts are tied for second in team history for most shutouts in a season, and are the most by a Ranger since John Ross Roach posted 13 shutouts in 1928-29. He is now one of two active goaltenders with at least two seasons of 10+ shutouts (M. Brodeur – 4). Lundqvist also posted his 30th win of the season on Mar. 18 vs. Montreal to extend his NHL record by recording 30 or more wins in six consecutive seasons to begin his career, and extend his franchise record by posting his sixth straight 30-win season. Lundqvist established a new career-high by appearing in his 22nd consecutive contest (dating back to Feb. 11) on Mar. 31 at Long Island. Lundqvist has appeared in 26 straight games entering tonight’s contest.

TURNING LEMONS INTO LEMONADE
The Rangers tied for fourth in the league with 11 shorthanded goals this season, the most for New York since they notched 11 in 2006-07 and tied for 12th most in franchise history. Brandon Prust led the team and tied for second and third in the league, respectively, with a career-high, seven shorthanded points and five shorthanded goals. His five shorthanded goals are the most by a Ranger since Theo Fleury tallied seven shorthanded goals in 2000-01. Brian Boyle led the Rangers and tied for second in the NHL with a career-best, three shorthanded assists.

AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS
The Rangers completed the regular season leading the league in hits (2,333), ranked fourth in blocked shots (1,301), tied for first in shutouts (11), second in number of players with at least one GWG (19), third in shootout wins (nine), fourth in road wins (24), fifth in goals against (198), and fifth with a plus-35 goal differential.

40 WINS
New York won its 40th game of the season with a 1-0 victory vs. Florida on Mar. 22. It is the fifth time in the last six years the Rangers posted 40 or more wins in a season, marking only the second time in franchise history the team accomplished the feat (1968-69 – 1973-74). The Blueshirts are one of five Eastern Conference teams to have registered at least five seasons of 40+ wins since 2005-06 (Montreal, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh).

INJURIES:
* Derek Boogaard (shoulder, 12/9) – 52
* Alex Frolov (knee, 1/8) – 39
* Martin Biron (collarbone, 2/28) – 18
* Ryan Callahan (ankle, 4/4) – 2
Total Man-Games Lost (Regular Season): 327

RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* Apr. 8 – Recalled forward Mats Zuccarello from Connecticut (AHL)

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117 Comments

  1. “The Rangers enter tonight’s contest with a 197-212-8 record all-time in 417 playoff contests.”

    Um, what? Hard to tie a playoff game, or lose in a shootout. Does the third column refer to OT losses?

  2. This is going to be a great series. The offensive power of the Caps vs the great goaltending of Lundqvist. The loss of Callahan is going to be huge for the Rangers and may be their downfall.

  3. Geez, Doodie, if the Rangers go far in the playoffs, there will be a lot of clogged up arteries in NY.

  4. Callaman has scored some goals against the Craps these past two-three seasons. He’ll definitely be missed this series.

    Someone is going to have to step up.

    Butt-Chin is obvious, but Dublowsky really needs to step up. Aside from the game against Boston, he hasn’t been putting the fuggin puck in the net! Time to start!

    Boyle has a few goals against the Craps this season. He’s another one that needs to provide some offense.

  5. *Carp*: You are composing a symphony today of new post tension! Almost there Cabezas del Huesos!

  6. I am getting so nervous I can taste my lunch as it comes back up my esophagus and out my mouth.

  7. Doodie Machetto on

    If I told you Derek Boogaard was going to shoot 25% this season, you would have called me crazy

  8. Just started a let’s go rangers chant with my students as they walked out of school. Obviously the fact that i give them a night off of homework for every round the rangers win is the only motivation for the vast majority of them.

    The hockey kids are psyched. The teacher/coach is mildly optimistic

    LGR!!!!

  9. Guess who was in the net? Here is hoping Neuvirth has the same look on his face a few time tonight.

  10. LOL! Of all the goals scored this season, from Callaman’s OT game winner, the Stahl shorthanded goal against the Pens, Dublowsky’s game tying goal against the B’s, McDonut, Sour Power, Step-On’s first goals, and Step-On’s hat trick goal, and so on, that Booger goal might be my favorite goal of the season!

  11. Anyone know of a site where I can watch a full replay of the game? I won’t be able to watch it tonight.

  12. Orr- Dom Moore’s goal for TB against Carolina could be as important as any goal for us this season. They went downhill right after.

  13. Doodie the tie was in game 4, not 5. I could watch that Boogaard goal a million times and not get tired of it. It may be the 1st time in history Beninati’s goal call DIDN’T annoy me.

  14. Regulation scoring and defense for the Rangers and Caps:

    Rangers:
    Before 7-0 win over Caps at MSG (31 games): Average GF: 2.77, Average GA: 2.64
    Post 6-0 win over Caps at VZ Center (19 games): GF: 2.78, GA: 2.21
    In between (32 games): GF: 2.45, GA: 2.22

    Caps:
    Before 7-0 loss at MSG (31 games): GF: 2.96, GA: 2.64
    Post 6-0 loss at VZ Center (20 games): GF: 2.55, GA: 1.85
    In between (31 games): GF: 2.16, GA: 2.16

    Interesting that both teams experienced a significant drop in scoring (in regulation) following the MSG game. Rangers D have been playing at a consistent level for the last 50 or so games. Caps D did turn it around but I still wonder whether that style of play has become “natural” for them.

  15. Doodie – I think you shuold have trimmed your lists a little bit. You can’t really use the same stats for both teams and show their rankings. The team with the higher one should probably get that stat in their winning list. It’s kinda stupid.

    Can’t wait for 7:30!

  16. 4generations 4 cups on

    So, every single staffer on NHL.com believes that Ovechkins will win the series. There isnt one other series where the writers unanimously agree. I dont quite understand– people really think Washington is a completely new beast? Ha.

  17. Spider,

    Actually I think showing where both teams are in the same category illustrates how close/far teams are in certain aspects of the game. Seeing the Caps as a top 10 team in blocked supports the idea that they’ve bought more into a defensive style. Also I liked the extra stat that showed how many of the top teams in hits (always a subjective category that MSG is notorious for inflating) did not make the playoffs. I would imagine that teams that possess the puck and are more often on the attack don’t have to throw as many hits.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    “Doodie – I think you shuold have trimmed your lists a little bit. You can’t really use the same stats for both teams and show their rankings. The team with the higher one should probably get that stat in their winning list. It’s kinda stupid.”

    It was intended as a point-rebuttal for anything that I thought had a corresponding issue. The point and rebuttal are paired so that they share the same number to emphasize that. I did it that way to point out that the advantages people point out that the Rangers have aren’t as huge as they are often made out to be. In the end, I felt that it supported my prediction of Caps in 5.

    As I said in my bets with Carp: Game 1 Winner=Series winner.

  19. Wicky (trying to go as fast as ILB on this thing) on

    Not happy about eminger sitting, but at this point it doesn’t matter……..LGR!!!!!

  20. Wicky – the Eminger benchings do strike a nerve in my emotional brain cortex and hurt me. It’s sad. I think Gilroy looked good though. He’s hungry – and if he doesn’t look good – Eminger is right back in.

  21. Most people probably thought the Bruins had some momentum, being up up 3-0 in last years EC semis.

    Then Philthy’s ‘stole the momentum’ for the next three games only to have certainly lost it when the fell down 3-0 on the road in game 7.

    Then they got the momentum back, I guess.

  22. I think the Habs vs. Bruins series really has a lot of juice and if it has potential to be some really intense hockey. I still think the Habs surprise everybody and pull it off.

  23. Bill Simmons just asked Greg Whyshynski “why are the Sedins not a household name? Why does the NHL focus on Crosby and Ovechkin when this story is out there?”

    Amazing question. One I ask many times over.

  24. just turned on msg plus. how come no 5 hour pregame show.

    if this was the knicks it would be a 10 hour show

  25. mike k – The game will probably be replayed on MSG/MSG+ in 60 and in full late night and tomorrow.

    CTB – I’m not saying it was a bad idea to include the rankings for both sides in each category, just that you can’t use them in both lists as to why that team will win. It was a very informative list of stats.

  26. Hey everybody: BS Report from today: 4/13: Wright Thompson, Greg Wyshynski is really good. 70% hockey 30% bourbon. Topics dear to our hearts.

    Wyshynski is also giving some nice love to the Rangers.

  27. Spider,

    I disagree just because one team is good at a particular facet of the game doesn’t mean the other one can’t be either.

    Again, I’ll refer to the blocked shots ranking. Both teams could perform very well in that area, most likely leading to low scoring games where the difference could be a bad bounce could decide a game. Such as a puck going in off a shot blocking D, hm where have we seen this before???

  28. Stranger Nation on

    What about lines? torts mixed it up the last game and it seemed to work against the Debs. with Callyman out.

    Gabby – Artie – Dubi – Dubi will need work overtime behind the net
    Vinny – Step – Wooly Bear – Wooly bear is the series X factor – if he shows up we have two lines that can score
    Feds – Boyle – Prust – may score more than the other lines exp. SH
    Aves – Drury – MZA – Could be another X factor line – please do not put MZA on PP point!

  29. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    Go Go Gabby Snapshot! Go Go Gabby Release!

    Zuccarello…What a fellow!

    Hey! Hey! Hey-Hey-Hey!

  30. This team has had scoring by committee all year. No time to stop that now – everyone needs to step up. I think ‘capitalizing’ on our scoring chances could be the biggest factor.
    Not to pick on Artie, but we need to score on chances like the one he had against ATL.
    Can’t waste odd man scoring opportunities. 2 on 1’s – gotta score.
    Guys need to bear down when they get their chances. They need a calm intensity, a relaxed focus. I think Gabby has a good series and kicks in his share, I do.

    We know we have solid team D and a great goalie who is primed and ready to go. We need to score and score early.

  31. manny fried

    still breathing for now. watching devs rangers 94 on rangers in 60 on msg plus

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    Again, the idea was to point out the advantages of the Rangers, and then explain why some of them aren’t as big of an advantage as we would like to think.

  33. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    Best part about the Rangers and Caps matchup this year?

    Ovechtrick won’t have the opportunity to skate through Zherdev and Voros and embarrass the NYR franchise on that famous goal he scored in the 2009 series…

    Just kidding!

  34. Rangers:
    Shut out wins = 11
    Shut out losses = 6
    Wins when scoring 2 or less = 17
    Losses when scoring 2 or less = 29
    3+ goal wins = 16
    3+ goal losses = 8
    1 goal wins (minus SO wins) = 12
    1 goal losses (mins SO losses) = 15

    Caps
    Shut out wins = 8
    Shut out losses = 11
    Wins when scoring 2 or less = 14
    Losses when scoring 2 or less = 31
    3+ goal wins = 14
    3+ goal losses = 8
    1 goal wins (minus SO wins) = 21
    1 goal losses (mins SO losses) = 14

  35. Gonna move the home computer to the TV room tonight so I save running back and forth (I choose not to run) but I have a feeling keeping up here is going to be next to impossible.

  36. Rhode Island Ranger on

    ddebened:

    Kevin Lowe’s (and Carp’s) NO MOMENTUM IN THE PLAYOFFS theory is the extreme position here.

    The majority of those who have played or closely followed competitive team sports believe in momentum… but only as one important factor among many (skill, strength, strategy, luck, etc.) that decide the outcome between two teams.

    Momentum is a psychological phenomenon with physiological effects. Momentum is confidence borne from recent success and the expectation that that success will continue.

    Your good examples of momentum failures and shifts don’t disprove its obvious existence, they simply illustrate that momentum is not all-powerful. But I have never heard anyone in the hockey world claim that momentum trumps all.

    But Lowe’s patently false declaration that hockey teams don’t perform better on the rising wave of confidence we call “momentum” does claim an absolute. Our innumerable experiences with teams that improve their execution as they begin to sense momentum proves his extreme claim wrong.

    Glad Kevin played D for the Rangers… rather than coaching! LGR.

  37. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    Unleash the Flavah!! Boyle = Beast

    Brandon Prust’s tears can cure cancer. Too bad he’s never cried. :P

  38. ddeb, HA!!!!! It’s much easier at warren. I pocket them when I pay by credit card all the time :)

  39. Hey guys – every single time we go crazy about The Prust – we lose. I am done for a while on the praise of Prust. I love him – he knows it and I am sure he knows a bunch of other Straight Males on this blog also love him.

  40. EMERGENCY!!!!

    Just checked Versus and they are showing the DETROIT GAME. WTF???? The Rangers game is going to be AFTER that game. Why aren’t they doing regional for this?

    WHERE CAN I STREAM???

  41. Spider, don’t get MSG up in Boston…and wow, because of my anxiousness I forgot Center Ice shows playoff games. Thanks brutha

    crisis averted

  42. Tremendously tremendous.

    blueshirtsunited.com/posts/167-exclusive-henrik-and-joel-lundqvist-video

  43. Doodie and Spideraasenski – thanks for the help, guys, but I live in DC without cable. Normally I head to a bar or find a stream online if I want to watch a game. Soooo….anyone know of a way I can watch a replay?

  44. And lucky Krisy (forget luck of the Irish, Fozzy and I are now all about the luck of the wegians) met Joel last week.

  45. 1 hour until my haircut. (Maybe I will ask for a mullet?)
    3 hours until game time.

    Let’s Go Rangers!

  46. Mama – you naughty girl

    RiR-

    IMO In any given scenario, it’s what the respective teams do with the previous results. People and teams respond differently to a particular set of circumstances.

    A team that wins can get cocky/overconfident or they may be emboldened, become hungrier and develop the KI (killer instinct) -or anywhere in between
    The loser might lose confidence and quit or perhaps become more determined. Desperation may set in -which may or may not manifest itself positively.

  47. mike K, I think the local markets will get the local feeds for the game. So if you’re in DC a bar should be able to show it on whatever network got duped into employing Joe Beninati.

  48. ddeb, they used to keep them in a glass on the bar, but don’t anymore. I think I’m the reason why. shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anybody.
    Krisy paid cash for us Monday. I was quite disappointed since I let her have my pen from earlier in the week.

  49. fyi, my cousin (lives in Florida but is from Boston) and I have a bet. Whoever goes further, winner gets a really expensive dinner. I just called to tell him to expect me down south in about 2 weeks :)

  50. Keep your pants on Tony! Oh, wait, I forget you don’t wear any…..No wonder you refresh so often :)

  51. Anybody know of anyone that would like my Yankees tickets for tonight? I can’t give these things away. That must mean that everybody wants to see the Rangers!

  52. 1.30 its way too late for me tonight..you guys can promise me a win tonight even without me ????:)

    I hope to be online for game no. 2 friday night again around 1.30 :)

  53. Anybody know of anyone that would like my Yankees tickets for tonight? I can’t give these things away. That must mean that everybody wants to see the Rangers!

    ***

    Uh, you see what the weather is like outside?

  54. Oh Mama.. Had to spend my last dollars.. Sorry! ;)
    I just got us tickets to Stockholm…
    If any one want to get tickets early Live Nations are selling now.. exclusive if you make an account with them.
    http://www.livenation.se/artist/nhl-premiere-stockholm-tickets

    Anne is joining me tonight to watch the game and I told her to wear the same shirt as she had on at the Bruins and Devils game. (She switched for the trashers.. big mistake ;)
    Can’t wait for the game to start but might need another pregame nap now. LGR!!!

  55. Shoot – I forgot the post(age) rate goes up to $1.75 today. Does that go into effect starting with the “Go Time” post?

  56. Krisy, do you think I will get tickets tomorrow afternoon after i finished my work on http://www.ticnet.se ????

    Is it possible to book tickets out of a seat map of Globen Arena ?????:)

  57. HA Krisy! I forgive you! Oh my, we really turned Anne around in just a few days! Awesome!!! Tell her Heia from me!!! Did you get me a ticket in case I make the trip? :)

    ORR, he’s a harnteller, let it go :)

  58. Hmmmm. didn’t I say I had things to do? I think I shall go do them…….btw all, Heia is an awesome wegian term we should use here. Loosely translated for our purposes here…LGR!!!

    From the interweb: Heia: Encouraging shout used in competitions to spur the athletes on. “Heia! heia! heia!” “Heia Norge! “Go Norway!” …

  59. Well if Carp said starting with the playoffs that could mean the last month.
    Either way Carp was a real landmine here :)

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