Thursday, February 04, 2010

Caps @ Rangers 2-4-2010 Preview

Washington Capitals (38-18; 82 points; 1st Southeast Division, 1st Eastern Conference, 1st Overall) @ New York Rangers (25-32; 57 points; 4th Atlantic Division, 8th Eastern Conference, 21st Overall):
Caps Game #57, Road Game #30, NHL Game #842

Caps "Magic Numbers" (Caps Points Earned+Lost by team named) to clinch:
Playoff Spot: 28 Atlanta

Southeast Division Championship: 29 Tampa Bay
Eastern Conference #1 Seed: 44 New Jersey
President's Trophy: 51 San Jose


Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 7:07 pm. Washington TV: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Radio: WFED 1500-AM.  New York TV: MSG. Radio: WEPN 1050-AM.  NHL Center Ice: MSG feed.

Tonight, the Caps go for a dozen when they head into MSG for the second and final time this season to face the New York Rangers.  This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season and the road team has won both games so far this season.  Recently though for the Rangers it has been either feast or famine.  The Rangers have lost six of their last seven games and have been shutout four times in their last twelve games.  The Rangers are coming off a three game West Coast trip where after snapping a five game losing streak with a 3-1 win in Colorado over the Avalanche on Sunday night, the Rangers dropped a 2-1 decision in Los Angeles to the Kings on Tuesday night.

What The Natives Are Saying:

(Com)PostExaminer.  Caps.com.

Neutral Views:

NHL.comAP Wire.

Open Source Intelligence:

Rangers.com.

What Do We Expect Tonight?:

Well folks, as the Caps go for the dirty dozen in tonight's game, we should know pretty quickly how things are going to turn out.  While the Rangers are being described as the "new look Rangers" the results so far have been pretty typical for them this season.  Basically, if the Caps can keep Marian Gaborik from scoring, the Rangers are going to have a hard time pulling out a win tonight.  Furthermore, the Rangers are playing their first game at home after a trip to the west coast.  That time change is never easy for an east coast team so even if the Rangers come out with a strong effort, expect them to fade as the game goes on.  But as has been the case recently for the Caps, their biggest enemy right now is themselves.  Will the Caps come out tonight and look to put a struggling team away early or will the string of bad games that the Caps pull out in the end continue?

Caps Nut Official Prediction:

Caps 6
Rangers 2
Winner by Semin
(29-27 on the season with one perfect game)

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