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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 4th (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (38-12-6) at New York Rangers (25-25-7), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to add another victory to what is already the longest winning streak in club history, as they visit the New York Rangers for tonight's battle at Madison Square Garden.

The Capitals, who lead the NHL with 82 points, have won 11 straight games to eclipse the previous mark of 10 wins in a row from January 27-February 18, 1984. Washington has also won 14 of its last 15 outings and hasn't lost since January 12 in Tampa Bay.

Washington's latest victory came Tuesday evening in Boston as the Capitals scored three times in the third period to skate away with a 4-1 decision at TD Garden. Brooks Laich picked up the game-winner in the third and Jose Theodore turned in a superb performance, stopping 41-of-42 shots.

Mike Knuble, Boyd Gordon and Alex Ovechkin also tallied for the Capitals.

"We didn't play very well, yet we found a way to win," said Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We believed that we could win. As I've said before, if we were on a five or six-game losing streak, we would have lost the game. But we won. When you're on a winning streak, you find that good things happen."

Alexander Semin added an assist to push his point streak to 10 games. The Russian winger has six goals and 11 assists during the tear, which ties him with Carolina's Eric Staal for the longest current point streak in the NHL.

Caps defenseman Mike Green, who leads all NHL blueliners with 52 points this year, will serve the final test of a three-game suspension tonight. Green earned the ban for elbowing Florida's Michael Frolik in the head last Friday.

Washington has a strong 17-9-3 record as the guest this year and has won four straight on the road.

Tonight marks the start of a three-game homestand for the Rangers, who have lost six of their last seven overall contests. New York ended a four-game slide with Sunday's win at Colorado, but was dealt a close loss Tuesday in Los Angeles to end a three-game road trip. Jonathan Quick was strong with 20 saves to lead the Kings to the 2-1 decision at Staples Center.

The Blueshirts lost Tuesday's game in LA despite the debut of new centerman Olli Jokinen, who was acquired along with forward Brandon Prust in a trade with Calgary the previous night. The Rangers sent forwards Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik to the Flames.

Jokinen has 11 goals and 24 assists this year. He finished his Rangers debut with four shots in 20:34 of action.

Henrik Lundqvist allowed two goals on 21 shots for the Rangers, while Marian Gaborik scored the lone New York goal.

New York, which will also welcome New Jersey and Nashville during this residency, is just 12-13-4 as the host this year.

The Caps and Rangers have split a pair of meetings this year with each club winning on the opposition's ice. The clubs have also split the last 12 overall meetings and Washington has just two wins in its last 10 trips to the Big Apple.

02/04 10:47:01 ET


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