NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 17th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (5-8-1) at New York Rangers (7-5-1), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to extend their season-
long winning streak against the team that knocked them out of last year's
playoffs as they visit the New York Rangers on Sunday night for the first time
Following a 2-8-1 start, the Capitals have ripped off three straight wins
while netting 15 goals in that span. Their latest victory came on Thursday, a
4-3 decision at the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Eric Fehr scored twice, while Troy Brouwer and Jay Beagle added goals.
Beagle's first of the season gave Washington a 4-1 lead with 12:31 to play,
but the Lightning made things close with a pair of third-period goals, pulling
within one with 3:13 to go.
However, Braden Holtby was strong with 27 saves and Mathieu Perreault added a
career-high three assists. Brouwer's goal was his fourth in three games.
"We had some really good shifts out there tonight," said Beagle. "We're all
starting to click together out there and are starting to feel the system that
coach wants from us."
The Caps also appear to be hitting their stride under first-year head coach
Adam Oates on the power play. Washington has scored on the man advantage in
six straight games, the longest such run for the club since doing so in seven
in a row from March 6-18, 2010.
Washington defenseman Mike Green is questionable for this game with a lower
body injury, while Marcus Johansson won't play the finale of a three-game road
trip due to an upper body ailment.
The Caps finish their swing where their 2012 playoff run ended following a 2-1
loss at the Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. That hard-
fought series featured a triple-overtime game in Washington and came after
both teams needed seven games to advance out of the opening round.
New York, which split its four regular-season meetings with Washington last
season, got goals from Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto in the series-
clinching game. Richards should have some extra motivation for this encounter
after getting benched in the third period of Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to
the New York Islanders.
Richards did have an assist in the game, his 10th point of the season, but
hasn't scored a goal in eight straight.
The Rangers got first-period goals from Dan Girardi and Marian Gaborik on his
31st birthday, but the Islanders came back with a trio of second-period goals.
Carl Hagelin scored his fourth goal in three games for the Blueshirts to tie
the game in the second period.
"I don't think we were mentally taking them lightly at all," said New York
captain Ryan Callahan. "We know they're a good team. If our foot did come off
the gas, for whatever reason that may be, that has to be corrected. We can't
have that, any night."
Martin Biron made 28 saves in his second start of the season, but was bested
twice in the shootout while Gaborik and Rich Nash failed to score on their
The Rangers were vying for a fourth straight win, but fell to 6-2-1 in their
last nine games overall.
02/17 10:34:05 ET