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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Rangers aim to open series against Capitals strong: Klein and Sheppard ready to go

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers will have to be responsible defensively when going up against Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, something that will be a focal point of this series. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Following the conclusion of the final game in the first round, with the Tampa Bay Lightning advancing to face the Montreal Canadiens, the Semifinals matchups can commence. The New York Rangers open up their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup against the Washington Capitals, a team they are very familiar with, at Madison Square Garden.

This is the first playoff meeting between these two rivals since 2013, but the fourth since the 2011 playoffs. Some players from both the Capitals and Rangers have remained with their respective squads, so there is definitely some familiarity and bad blood between these two teams.

Washington has had less rest than New York since their first round series concluded, with only two days off, but they did have to travel to Manhattan as well. They took out the Islanders in a grueling seven game series full of hard hitting, tough defensive play, and intensity. Read the rest of this entry

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5 Keys to the Rangers taking down the Washington Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers were victorious in round one, and now face off against the Washington Capitals. Here is what they need to do to win. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

In the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers were able to execute their game plan and eliminate the Penguins in five games, advancing to the second round of the playoffs to take on the Washington Capitals, emerging victorious following a grueling seven game series against the New York Islanders.

Unlike the Penguins, the Capitals are a fully healthy team, with all of their wingers and defensemen ready to play. They too have a solid goalie in net in Braden Holtby, a name familiar to the Rangers and their fans in the postseason.

Following the tiring series against the Islanders, with little rest as well as travel, the Capitals are coming into what will be another extremely hard fought series against another very good team in the New York Rangers. With Game 1 and 2 at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have another good opportunity to pounce on what could be a tired Capitals team as they try to reach the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in as many seasons. Read the rest of this entry

Series Preview, Round 2: Rangers vs. Capitals

Bobby Bevilacqua

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For the fourth time in five years, the Rangers and Capitals will faceoff in the playoffs again. The Rangers won the last meeting in seven games back in 2013. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals will face off in the playoffs. If the past matchups are indicative of this year’s playoff series, Rangers and Capitals fans are in for a treat.

After a grueling seven game series with the New York Islanders, the Capitals were able to come away with a 2-1 win in the final game of the series, limiting the Islanders to just 11 shots on goal and advancing to face the New York Rangers.

The last time that the Rangers and Capitals met in the postseason was back in 2013, with the Rangers coming away with the series win in seven games. With the Capitals up 3-2 heading into Game 6, Henrik Lundqvist came through in the clutch, delivering back-to-back shutouts to give New York the series win. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers Practice Report; Zuccarello out indefinitely, Klein in, Hartford Call Up

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers will be without Mats Zuccarello for the time being, sidelined with what seems to be a concussion. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mats Zuccarello was struck in the head by Ryan McDonagh’s slap shot. Play continued, and Zuccarello seemed a bit woozy getting back to the bench. A few minutes later, he headed to the locker room.

This afternoon, the Rangers announced that Zuccarello would be out “indefinitely” with an upper body injury, not specifying any type of injury or the length that he would be sidelined.

While it’s probably not smart to jump to conclusions, Zuccarello could be dealing with a concussion. It would answer the question of why he didn’t return to Game 5, and is a logical possibility when someone is struck in the head by a piece of vulcanized rubber traveling at 85+ miles per hour. He also had no visible injuries, so a concussion seems to be the only logical explanation for an “upper-body injury.” Read the rest of this entry

Capitals vs. Islanders: Who would you rather face?

Bobby Bevilacqua

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The Rangers are waiting for the winner of the Capitals-Islanders series to emerge, with Game 7 coming on Monday. Who would they fare better against? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

With their win on Friday, the Rangers became just the second team to clinch a berth in the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the first team in the eastern conference to do so. Every other team in the East is still battling it out while the Rangers get some precious time off to heal and relax.

The Ottawa Senators are attempting to complete a comeback against the Montreal Canadiens, down 3-2 but with the series heading back to Ottawa. The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in a surprising 3-2 hole to Detroit with the series going to the Joe Louis Arena for Game 6.

But the series that Rangers fans care about the most is the Washington Capitals against the New York Islanders. The Rangers will take on the winner of that series, which is still being played. Read the rest of this entry