Friday, February 09, 2007

Caps/Rangers Preview [Capital Fanatic]

New York Rangers (26-24-5, 57 points)
Washington Capitals (23-25-8, 54 points)

Television: Comcast Sports Net, MSG Network
Radio: Sportstalk 980-AM, MSG Network
Gametime: 7:00 PM ET

The Capitals will look to finish out their season long home stand on a high note as the New York Rangers come to town in front of what should be a sold-out crowd at the Verizon Center. It will be the fourth and final meeting between the clubs this season.

Washington will be looking to take advantage of what should be a tired Rangers club. It will be the second game in as many nights for the blue shirts, who blew out the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night 5-0 at Madison Square Garden. Although it was not a close game on the scoreboard, it was definitely a physical contest with lots of hits and a couple big fights. Colton Orr and Ryan Hollweg combined for 35 penalty minutes on the night between their fighting majors and misconducts.

Speaking of Colton Orr, you know he will be on the minds of Capitals players, especially Donald Brashear, following the dirty hit he put on Alex Ovechkin during the teams' last meeting in New York. That hit got him suspended for five games.

In addition to Orr the Caps will now have another pesky player to deal with following the Rangers recent acquisition of Sean Avery from the Los Angeles Kings. He has 8 penalty minutes in 2 games since the trade and scored his first goal with New York last night.

The Capitals remain without their three defenseman on injured reserve althought two of them, Brian Pothier and Brian Muir, were able to complete their first full practice with the team yesterday.

It will be an important game in the Capitals quest to get back in the playoff race. After the Rangers win last night Washington now trails them by 3 points for 11th place in the conference and they remain 8 points behind the Lightning the final playoff spot.

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