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New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals @NHLdotcom
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GAME: New York Rangers (1-0-2-0) at Washington Capitals (1-2-0-0).

TIME: Monday, 1 p.m. EDT.

After two straight overtime losses, the New York Rangers are looking for answers. A matchup against the one of league's worst defenses may solve that problem.

New York meets the Washington Capitals Monday at the MCI Center in a Columbus Day matinee.

The Rangers lost 3-2 in overtime Saturday to the New Jersey Devils. Two days earlier, the Blueshirts dropped a 4-3 decision to the Montreal Canadiens.

Highly touted rookie goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves against the Devils in his NHL debut. Lundqvist led the Swedish Elite league last season in wins (33) and goals-against average (1.79).

Rangers coach Tom Renney expects Lundqvist to bounce back.

"He's a very levelheaded guy," Renney said. "This won't stick with him too long. He'll be right back at it in the next practice."

The Rangers will look to former Capital Jaromir Jagr to provide much of the scoring punch this season. Jagr has scored 83 of his 539 career goals in two-plus seasons with the Capitals, but has enjoyed tremendous success playing against them.

In 54 games against Washington, Jagr has tallied 26 goals, including five game-winners, and 43 assists.

Washington is also looking for answers after one of the worst losses in recent memory, an 8-1 setback Saturday against the Atlanta Thrashers.

"There's no sense dwelling on it," Capitals defenseman Brendan Witt said. "We're only three games in. We have to learn from it and move forward. We spent too much time in the box. Once you go down three ... and you're still going in the penalty box, it becomes an epidemic and we end up embarrassing ourselves."

The Capitals have allowed 17 goals in three games so far, all started by Olaf Kolzig. Coach and former goaltender Glen Hanlon may start backup Brent Johnson.

Johnson was claimed off waivers Tuesday from the Vancouver Canucks. He has appeared in 151 career games with the St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes, posting a 77-53-13 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and 12 shutouts.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 8): Rangers - 4 points, 1st place (tied), Atlantic Division. Capitals - 2 points, 4th place (tied), 2 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, Martin Rucinsky and Marcel Hossa, 2 goals; Martin Straka, 4 assists; Darius Kasparaitis, 10 PIM. Capitals - Alexander Ovechkin, 2 goals; Jeff Halpern, 4 assists; Steve Eminger, 11 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 8): Rangers - Power play: 22.2 percent (4 for 18), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 88.5 percent (23 for 26), 9th. Capitals - Power play: 20.8 percent (5 for 24), 11th. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (26 for 32), 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Kevin Weekes (1-0-0, 0 SO, 3.47 GAA); Lundqvist (0-0-0, 0, 2.86). Capitals - Kolzig (1-2-0, 0, 5.06); Johnson(no record).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: 2-2.

LAST MEETING: Sept. 3, 2004; Rangers, 3-2, OT. At Washington, Bobby Holik had two goals, including the game-winner with 1:08 remaining in overtime.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 1-0-1 on the road; Capitals - 1-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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