Friday, April 22, 2011

Playoff Round 1 Game #5 Preview: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals


Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

When:  April 23, 2011, 3:00 PM

History:           
All-Time Playoff Series Record vs. NYR: 3-2
All-Time Playoff Game Record vs. NYR: 18-15
Last Meeting: 2009, WAS 4 NYR 3

This Year:
WAS Record: 48-22-11
Standings Points: 107
Division Rank: 1st
Conference Rank: 1st

NYR Record: 44-33-5
Standings Points: 93
Division Rank: 3rd
Conference Rank: 8th    

2010-2011 Regular Season Series: 1-2-1
Nov. 9, 2010 WAS 5 NYR 3
Dec. 12, 2010 WAS 0 NYR 7
Jan. 24, 2011 WAS 1 NYR 2 (OT-SO)
Feb. 25, 2011 WAS 0 NYR 6

Playoff Series Schedule and Results:
Apr. 13, 2011 WAS 2 NYR 1 (OT)
Apr. 15, 2011 WAS 2 NYR 0
Apr. 17, 2011 WAS 2 NYR 3
Apr. 20, 2011 WAS 4 NYR 3 (2OT)
Apr. 23, 2011 at Washington*
Apr. 25, 2011 at New York*
Apr. 27, 2011 at Washington*
*If required

Probable Line-Ups:     
Washington
Forward Line 1: 8 OVECHKIN, 19 BACKSTROM, 21 LAICH
Forward Line 2: 18 STURM, 44 ARNOTT, 28 SEMIN
Forward Line 3: 25 CHIMERA, 90 JOHANSSON, 16 FEHR
Forward Line 4: 26 HENDRICKS, 15 GORDON, 10 BRADLEY
Defense Pair 1: 55 SCHULTZ, 23 HANNAN
Defense Pair 2: 27 ALZNER, 74 CARLSON
Defense Pair 3: 4 ERSKINE, 52 GREEN
Goalie: 30 NEUVIRTH
Back-up Goalie: 1 VARLAMOV

New York
Forward Line 1: 20 PROSPAL, 42 ANISIMOV, 10 GABORIK
Forward Line 2: 17 DUBINSKY, 21 STEPAN, 19 FEDOTENKO
Forward Line 3: 86 WOLKSKI, 22 BOYLE, 8 PRUST
Forward Line 4: 16 AVERY, 26 CHRISTENSEN, 23 DRURY
Defense Pair 1: 18 STAAL, 5 GIRARDI
Defense Pair 2: 27 MCDONAGH, 38 SAUER
Defense Pair 3: 28 MCCABE, 97 GILROY
Goalie: 30 LUNDQVIST
Back-up Goalie: 29 JOHNSON

Injuries:
Washington – 3 POTI (upper body) IR, (upper body) IR, 6 WIDEMAN (lower body) DTD, 22 KNUBLE (hand) DTD

NYR – BIRON (broken collarbone) IR, BOOGAARD (concussion) IR, FROLOV (knee) IR, CALLAHAN (ankle) IR

Preview:

Washington will try to close out the series at home in Game #5. After the Game #4 double overtime comeback from 3 goals down the Capitals cannot afford to let down as the Rangers will be even more desperate this time around. Jason Chimera was the hero in Game #4 but the next game-winner for the Capitals will be even bigger. With a 3-1 series lead everyone in bringing up last year’s collapse with the same lead but this is not last year’s team. With everything that has happened this season, this team is much more prepared for these moments. Expect another tight, hard checking game. The Rangers will try to get out to a fast start offensively so look for Washington to counter. It should be interesting to see if either team can score in the first period. The previous 4 games of the series have been scoreless after 1 period. I think that Washington will have a good start and in another close game pull out the victory.

Joe’s prediction: Caps 4 NYR 2


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