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Capitals face Rangers looking for 2nd in Metropolitan

by Corey Masisak /

RANGERS (52-22-7) at CAPITALS (45-25-11)


Season series: The New York Rangers have won two of the three games against the Washington Capitals.

Rangers team scope: With a victory, New York can establish a Rangers record for wins and points in a season. The Rangers will be without one-third of their defensemen because Marc Staal (undisclosed) will miss his second straight game, and Kevin Klein remains out, coach Alain Vigneault told Blueshirts United. Klein was injured when these teams played at Verizon Center on March 11. Forwards Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello missed a 3-0 home loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday but practiced Friday. Vigneault said they are game-time decisions. The Rangers have won the Presidents’ Trophy with the top record in the NHL.

Capitals team scope: Washington will not play forwards Eric Fehr (upper body), Jay Beagle (upper body) or Tom Wilson (head). Washington is in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the New York Islanders. With a win, the Capitals will finish in second place in the division and have home-ice advantage for an Eastern Conference First Round series against the Islanders. "[Fehr] could play tomorrow," Trotz told the Washington Post. "If it was Game 1 (of the palyoffs), he'd be playing. But I think it's more important to get him a couple extra days here, and that could be a big difference. If we can get him 5 or 10 percent better, that’ll be perfect. If we played tomorrow, I'm sure [Beagle] would be right there too." Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Washington has won 29 times, New York has won 27, which includes four playoff series the teams have split. The Rangers have a 138-135 edge in goals scored.

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