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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Capitals vs Rangers

POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 1:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Oates puts premium on rest for Capitals

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates is a firm believer that the best weapon this time of the year is rest.

So after a tough 4-3 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to the New York Rangers on Monday, that's exactly what Oates gave his players in preparation for Game 4 Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).

"At this time of the year I'm not worried about conditioning," Oates said. "It's more fatigue and getting better prepared mentally. So we'll take [Tuesday] off and recharge the battery."

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.06.2013 / 11:34 PM

By Davis Harper -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Brassard's three-point night sparks Rangers

NEW YORK – Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Derick Brassard.

After two consecutive disappearing acts to start the series against the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers’ center broke out with a goal and two assists – his first career postseason points – to help the Rangers cut the series deficit to 2-1 in Monday’s 4-3 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Since the Rangers acquired him at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Brassard has added valuable offense, scoring five goals and six assists over 13 critical games that helped New York finish sixth in the Eastern Conference.

But in the first two games of this series, Brassard managed just three shots – and little else – in 28:38 of ice time as the Capitals raced out to a 2-0 series lead.


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POSTED ON Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:34 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Rangers’ Marc Staal returns for Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is in the lineup for Monday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2). He will replace Steve Eminger.

Forward Ryane Clowe remains out of the lineup. He will miss his fourth straight game.

Staal missed the past 29 games with an eye injury. He was injured on March 5, when a shot from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was deflected directly into his right eye. Staal has said he is still has blurred vision in the eye.

"As soon as I'm not second-guessing myself or hesitating and doing things I normally do become automatic is when I can jump into a playoff type game," Staal said prior to Game 1. "You go out there in a playoff game and you're thinking too much you're going to get yourself in trouble and the team."

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.06.2013 / 1:11 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Capitals stick with winning lineup for Game 3

NEW YORK -- After eliminating the New York Rangers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in two of the previous four seasons, the Washington Capitals now bring a two-game lea in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series to Madison Square Garden.

But there was no talk Monday of how a road win in Game 3 would give the Capitals a series stranglehold on a team that beat the Capitals in seven games in last year's conference semis.

"We're just thinking about tonight, we can't get too far ahead," Capitals coach Adam Oates said following Monday's morning skate. "The crowd will be crazy and you've got to enjoy that. As a player, you've got to want that feeling and be prepared for them to be excited about it. You've got to be in control and make good decisions with the puck."

If any NHL coach should be familiar with the MSG crowd during the playoffs, it's Oates. As an assistant with the New Jersey Devils last season, Oates went against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final, which New Jersey won in six games. Prior to that series, Oates and the Devils coaching staff scouted New York's second-round series against - of all teams - the Washington Capitals. All those games and all that scouting has sharpened Oates' familiarity with his first-round opponent.

"I think it's very similar," Oates said of this year's Rangers squad compared to last year. "The type of style they play, it's hard hockey, so your team has to be ready for hard hockey. The first two games [in this series], the margin of error was really slim. Both teams played well, both goalies played well."

The Capitals will ice the same lineup for Game 3 in New York that won the previous two games in Washington. Forward Brooks Laich, who has been out of the lineup with a groin injury since April 4, did not participate in the team's practice and remains out, although he did work out on a stationary bike following the skate.

Here is the projected Washington Capitals lineup for Game 3 Monday night against the New York Rangers:

Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Alex Ovechkin

Martin Erat -- Mike Ribeiro -- Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera -- Mathieu Perreault -- Eric Fehr

Matt Hendricks -- Jay Beagle -- Joel Ward

Karl Alzner -- Mike Green

John Erskine -- John Carlson

Jack Hillen -- Steve Oleksy

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jeff Schultz, Wojtek Wolski, Aaron Volpatti, Tom Poti

Injured: Brooks Laich (groin)

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.06.2013 / 11:33 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Clowe calls himself 'game-time decision' for Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe isn't sure if he will play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday.

Clowe, who missed the first two games of the series against the Washington Capitals with an undisclosed injury, called himself a "game-time decision." Rangers coach John Tortorella does not provide lineup or injury updates during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Obviously you guys [the media] want to know if I'm going to play," Clowe said after the morning skate at Madison Square Garden. "I'm still not sure about that."


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POSTED ON Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 12:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Clowe hoping to return for Game 3

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Just as he was prior to Game 2, injured New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe is hoping he's able to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

The Washington Capitals lead the Rangers, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series.

"When I spoke to you guys [Friday] I said I wasn't ruling out that game and I'm not sure either [about Game 3], but it's a possibility," said Clowe, who has missed three straight games dating back to the last game of the regular season. "That's kind of where we're at right now."

Clowe skated on his own prior to the game Saturday and practiced Sunday in a regular contact jersey. However, it was basically a non-contact practice so he still isn't sure if he's able to take a hit or give a hit, which is likely going to be the deciding factor in if he plays or if he sits again.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 12:09 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Dorsett, Boyle part of Rangers' Game 2 lineup

WASHINGTON -- The New York Rangers got two of their four injured players back in the lineup for Game 2 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday at Verizon Center.

Forwards Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett were inserted into the lineup for Chris Kreider and Kris Newbury. However, defenseman Marc Staal (eye) and forward Ryane Clowe (undisclosed) remain out of the lineup.

The Rangers trail the best-of-7 series, 1-0.


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POSTED ON Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Tortorella talks Moore no-goal in Game 1 third period

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella agreed with the decision to not award John Moore a goal late in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night against the Washington Capitals even though Tortorella thought it was a goal.

"It's the right call," he said. "I think it's a goal, but it's the right call."

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Nash felt good with play, now needs a win

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash felt strong and fast in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, his first game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 and his fifth career NHL postseason game.

The problem is Nash's 16 shot attempts, including eight on goal, didn't equate to anything tangible for the Rangers, who lost to the Washington Capitals 3-1 and fell behind 1-0 in the best-of-7 series.

"I thought I had some good opportunities but they didn't go in," said Nash, who is now 0-5 in the playoffs dating to 2009, when his Columbus Blue Jackets were swept in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings. "That's the difference. In big games you've got to bear down and make sure you score on your opportunities."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 8:15 PM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Ward's return adds depth, experience for Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Forward Joel Ward returned to the Washington Capitals lineup Thursday for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Ward missed the final nine games of the regular season with a knee injury he suffered after blocking a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo on April 7.

"I get a chance to play," Ward said. "I'm excited, for sure, and I get to reunite with my buddies, so I'm pretty happy about that."

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory