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Daily Primer Dec. 8: Rangers try to bounce back

Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 3:00 AM NHL.com

The New York Rangers' nine-game homestand didn't get off to the start they were hoping for Saturday, but they don't have much time to dwell on it.

After a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will host the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division matchup (7 p.m. ET, CSN-DC, MSG). The Rangers blanked the Capitals 2-0 on Oct. 16 in their first game since a 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series that New York won by shutting out Washington in Games 6 and 7.

"We kind of know what the Rangers are about," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said Saturday after a 5-2 home victory against the Nashville Predators. "We know it's going to be a hard-fought game. It always is. Low-scoring mostly, which we have to be ready for, but at the same time, you've got to expect the unexpected at times."

Here's a closer look at the action Sunday:

San Jose Sharks at Minnesota Wild -- San Jose has lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season and will look to avoid a three-game skid. The Sharks, who are wrapping up a four-game road trip, had a 2-0 lead Friday but allowed four goals in the third period in a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Minnesota is coming off a 4-0 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, but the Wild have won three straight at Xcel Energy Center.

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs -- The Bruins get right back at it after an emotional night at TD Garden on Saturday, when they lost forwards Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly during a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston will also be without forward Shawn Thornton, who received a match penalty for an incident with Brooks Orpik midway through the first period. Toronto earned a 4-3 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. The Maple Leafs have allowed 50 shots on goal in back-to-back games.

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers -- Washington moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division by beating the Predators for its third win in four games since a four-game winless skid (0-3-1). The Rangers opened their franchise-record nine-game homestand Saturday by blowing a 2-0 lead, tying the game in the final 30 seconds of regulation and losing on a power-play goal in overtime. New York is 5-6-1 at Madison Square Garden.

Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks -- Florida will be looking for its third straight win after earning a 2-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, the Panthers' first regulation win in Detroit since Dec. 1, 1996. Florida forward Jimmy Hayes has goals in back-to-back games. Chicago is winless in three games (0-2-1) since returning home from its annual "Circus Trip." The Blackhawks dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Anaheim Ducks at United Center on Friday.

Colorado Avalanche at Vancouver Canucks -- Sunday marks the end of Colorado's three-game trip through Western Canada; the Avalanche lost 8-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, but responded nicely in a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames on Friday. Gabriel Landeskog has a four-game point streak for the Avalanche. Vancouver will be seeking its fourth straight victory. The Canucks made it three in a row Friday when they earned a 3-2 overtime win against the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena. Chris Higgins scored the game-winner in OT after the Canucks blew a 2-0 third-period lead.

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