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At the Rink: Capitals at Rangers

by Dan Rosen

New York Rangers forward Oscar Lindberg will play against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, MSG), coach Alain Vigneault said according to the Rangers' Twitter account. Lindberg was a healthy scratch for the first time this season Friday, when the Rangers lost 5-2 at the Winnipeg Jets.

Vigneault said he has not decided who Lindberg will replace in the lineup. Lindberg has 17 points, including 10 goals, this season. He has no points in his past six games.

However, Vigneault said defenseman Kevin Klein is not ready to play and will miss his 10th straight game with an oblique injury he sustained early in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 30.

The Rangers (19-11-4) are 2-5-2 without Klein. They are 3-8-2 in their past 13 games, including back-to-back road losses to the Minnesota Wild and Jets.

"We've got one of the best teams in the League coming into our building, playing extremely well, and we are going to have to be at our best," Vigneault told the Rangers website.

The Capitals (23-6-2) have won four games in a row and are 11-1-1 in their past 13.

Washington is coming off of a 5-3 come-from-behind win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. The Capitals trailed 3-0 before scoring five unanswered goals in the final 26:11. They scored four goals in the third period.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, who had two power-play goals against the Lightning, is expected to play Sunday despite leaving practice early Saturday. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said Ovechkin "got a little bit of a tweak" so he was dismissed early from practice.

"I'll say he'll definitely be playing [Sunday]," Trotz said.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Andre Burakovsky

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner

Dmitry Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body)

Scratched Stanislav Galiev, Connor Carrick


Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - J.T. Miller

Oscar Lindberg - Kevin Hayes - Emerson Etem

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast

Marc Staal - Ryan McDonagh

Keith Yandle - Dylan McIlrath

Chris Summers - Dan Boyle

Henrik Lundqvist

Magnus Hellberg

Injured: Dan Girardi (knee), Antti Raanta (head), Kevin Klein (oblique)

Scratched: Viktor Stalberg

Status report: Stalberg was benched for the third period against the Jets. It's possible he sits against Washington. ... Girardi will miss his fourth straight game with a knee injury. Neither Girardi nor Raanta participated in the Rangers' full morning skate, which was held at their practice facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., because there were college basketball games at the Garden in the afternoon. … The Capitals did not hold a morning skate.

Who's hot: Oshie had four points, including two goals, in the win against the Lightning on Friday. He also had three points, including two goals, in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. … Ovechkin also had four points, including two power-play goals, in the win against Tampa Bay.


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