One look at the likely lineups for the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers heading into their matchup Sunday at Madison Square Garden shows how things are going for each team.
The Capitals are coming off two straight road wins against the Winnipeg Jets -- 4-0 on Thursday and 6-1 on Friday -- and won’t make any lineup changes.
The Rangers, however, made two moves in the wake of their 3-1 home loss Thursday to the Florida Panthers, the NHL's 30th-place team. Fourth-line center Jeff Halpern was placed on waivers and claimed by the Montreal Canadiens, and Stu Bickel, who has split time on defense and at forward, also was placed on waivers.
Forward Kris Newbury was recalled from Connecticut of the American Hockey League and could find himself on a line with Chris Kreider, as the two worked well together during their time together with the Whale. Arron Asham is healed from a back injury that has sidelined him for more than a month and could be back against the Capitals.
Rookie J.T. Miller has a sore wrist and is doubtful to play. The Rangers haven't ruled him out, but he stayed on the ice after practice Sunday, a strong indicator he won't play.
Here are the potential lineups for each team, with the Capitals' group being a pretty sure thing while the Rangers' lineup is more guesswork:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich - Mike Ribeiro - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Eric Fehr
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joel Ward
Jack Hillen - John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Steve Oleksy
Dmitry Orlov - Mike Green
Injured: John Erskine (arm), Tomas Kundratek (knee)
Scratched: Jeff Schultz, Aaron Volpatti, Wojtek Wolski
Rick Nash - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik???
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan???
Chris Kreider - Kris Newbury - Darroll Powe
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi?????????
Michael Del Zotto - Steve Eminger?????????
Roman Hamrlik - Anton Stralman
Injured: Marc Staal (eye), J.T. Miller (wrist)
Scratched: Matt Gilroy