The Washington Capitals (37-21-7) visit the New York Rangers (27-27-10) at Madison Square Garden on Sunday for a 12:30pm puck drop. This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season, the Capitals have beaten the in all three meetings so far this year. The game will be broadcast on NBC.
The Capitals are coming off a 3-1 win Friday night against Metropolitan foe, the New York Islanders. Scoring for the Capitals Friday night: Jakub Vrana (1), Alex Ovechkin (1) and TJ Oshie (1).
New York is coming off a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
What to watch for in the Washington Capitals:
The Washington Capitals surged in the third period on Friday to beat the division leading Islanders. Looking to solidify their team for a playoff run, Washington made two moves before the trade deadline. They acquired forward Carl Hagelin from the Los Angeles Kings and defenseman Nick Jensen from the Detroit Red Wings. The team only lost one player, young, defenseman Madison Bowey to Detroit.
TJ Oshie recorded a goal and an assist in Friday’s win. His goal did not come on a direct shot at net, instead he got credit for an own goal that Islanders’ Josh Bailey accidentally passed back into his goal, not knowing his goalie had gone to the bench. In Oshie’s past five games, he has scored three goals and three assists. Oshie has been a huge part of the team’s offensive production; he has the second most goals on the team with 21, only trailing Ovechkin.
With a goal in Friday night’s win, Alex Ovechkin notched his tenth 45-goal season, making him the first NHL player to have 10 seasons with 45 or more goals. In the past five games, Ovechkin recorded three goals and three assists. In the past three games against the Rangers this season, he has scored three goals and an assist. He looks to add to that total in Sunday’s meeting at Madison Square Garden. As the Captain of the Capitals and one of the best players in the league, Ovechkin will be a big part of the Capitals playoff run this season in their quest to go back-to-back.
Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals and two assists in the three meetings with the Rangers so far this season. In his past three games, Backstrom has scored two goals and three assists, those two goals came in last Sunday’s home game against the Rangers. He looks to have a similar performance in tomorrows game. Backstrom is second on the team for assists with 46, trailing defenseman John Carlson.
In net, we can expect Phoenix Copley since Braden Holtby started in Friday night’s game against the Islanders.
What to watch for in the New York Rangers:
The player to watch on the Rangers is centerman Mika Zibanejad. In his past four games, he has recorded a goal and four assists. He leads his team in goals with 27 and in assists with 36. In last Sunday’s game against Washington, Zibanejad had two assists. In the two other games against the Capitals this season, he has had a goal and an assist between the two games.
Jimmy Vesey will be another player to watch Sunday. He has had three goals and three assists in the past four games. He had a goal and an assist in last Sunday’s game against the Capitals.
In net for the Rangers, we can expect Henrik Lundqvist.
Prediction: Capitals 4 – Rangers 2