Photo: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Capitals continue their six-game homestand hosting the New York Rangers on Friday (7 PM ET, NHL Network nationally and NBC Sports Washington locally) and Saturday (7 PM ET ESPN+ nationally and NBC Sports Washington locally). The Rangers lead the season series 2-0 with a 4-2 win on February 4 at Madison Square Garden and a 4-1 victory on February 20 at Capital One Arena.
Last Game: 9-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at MSG on Wednesday
Standings: 12-12-4 (28 points) | sixth in the MassMutual East Division, 22nd overall
Goal Leader: Forward Chris Kreider (14)
Assist Leader: Forward Artemi Panarin (17)
Point Leader: Forward Pavel Buchnevich (26)
Goaltenders: Alexandar Georgiev will be in net for New York on Friday. The 25-year-old earned his second shutout of the season and sixth overall during Wednesday’s historic victory. In thirteen games played, he has gone 5-4-2, has a .897 save percentage, and has 3.01 goals-against average.
Power-Play: 14.6% (27th) | Kreider leads with six power-play goals.
Penalty Kill: 85.9% (4th) | Forward Brendan Lemieux leads with 46 penalty minutes.
Essential Notes: Kreider took a maintenance day on Thursday. According to The Athletics’ Rick Carpiniello, the coaching staff from Wednesday’s game will make the trip to D.C. for both games. On Wednesday morning, the Rangers announced that head coach David Quinn and his coaching staff were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol. Kris Knoblaunch, head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack (Rangers’ AHL affiliate); Chris Drury, the Rangers’ assistant GM; and Gord Murphy, Knoblaunch’s associate, were behind the bench.
Last Game: 3-1 win over the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Tuesday
Standings: 19-6-4 (42 points) | first in the MassMutual East Division, third overall
Goal Leader: Center Nicklas Backstrom (12) and captain Alex Ovechkin (12)
Assist Leader: Backstrom (21)
Point Leader: Backstrom (33)
Goaltenders: Ilya Samsonov has gone 6-0-1 in eight games played. He has a .907 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against average. In twenty-one games played, Vitek Vanecek has gone 12-5-3, has a .908 save percentage, 2.74 goals-against average, and one shutout.
Power-Play: 27.4% (6th) | Forward T.J. Oshie leads with five power-play goals.
Penalty Kill: 80.9% (11th) | Defenseman Brenden Dillon leads with 27 penalty minutes.
Essential Notes: The Capitals are looking to extend a six-game winning streak, which is the team’s longest streak of the season. Center Lars Eller (lower-body) joined the team at practice this morning. The 31-year-old said he is “close” to returning, but should know more at Friday’s morning skate. Head coach Peter Laviolette said Eller looked “okay”, but does not know his status for tomorrow. Forward Tom Wilson has one more game to serve in his seven-game suspension and should be able to return to the lineup on Saturday.
A recap of the last two meetings between the Capitals and Rangers:
A look at the latest numbers from goalies in the East:
Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick
By Della Young
🐯 alert! pic.twitter.com/PyRp7QmCH1
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 18, 2021
Anything but a sweep of the two games would be discouraging. They’ve already beat us twice, so going 1-3 would be underachieving in my book.
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