Rangers at Capitals preview
Ovechkin aims to extend goal streak; New York expected to play without Hayes, McQuaidby Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent
RANGERS (27-26-8) at CAPITALS (34-21-7)
12:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, NBCSWA, MSG, NHL.TV
The Washington Capitals return from a season-long six-game road trip to host the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena on Sunday.
The Capitals, who lost 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, are 6-3-1 in their past 10 games and trail the New York Islanders by four points for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
It will be New York's first game since trading forward Mats Zuccarello to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. The Rangers won 5-2 against the New Jersey Devils earlier in the day without Zuccarello, forward Kevin Hayes and defenseman Adam McQuaid, each scratched with the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET. Like Zuccarello, Hayes and McQuaid each can become an unrestricted free agent July 1; it is expected Hayes and McQuaid will be scratched against the Capitals.
The Rangers are 5-4-1 in their past 10 games and are 10 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Players to watch
Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 12 games.
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has scored in five straight games and has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in his past 13.
They said it
"I think everyone has emotion toward what's going on and we might lose guys that are a big part of this team. It's tough. The way we played today, the way competed mentally and physically, it's pretty impressive with all the circumstances going on right now." -- Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei
"We have to find a way to play a solid game for 60 minutes, and not just for 25 or whatever. Just get back on the horse [Sunday] and find a way." -- Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Jimmy Vesey
Vladislav Namestnikov -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast
Filip Chytil -- Lias Andersson -- Pavel Buchnevich
Brendan Smith -- Boo Nieves -- Connor Brickley
Brady Skjei -- Fredrik Claesson
Marc Staal -- Neal Pionk
Tony DeAngelo -- Kevin Shattenkirk
Scratched: Adam McQuaid, Kevin Hayes
Injured: Brett Howden (knee sprain)
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly
Carl Hagelin -- Nic Dowd -- Chandler Stephenson
Michal Kempny -- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -- Nick Jensen
Scratched: Dmitrij Jaskin, Travis Boyd, Christian Djoos
Jensen is expected to make his Capitals debut. He signed a four-year contract shortly after he was acquired, along with a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, by Washington on Friday in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Madison Bowey and a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Buchnevich has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past six games. … Kuznetsov has two assists in his past six games after scoring 10 points (five goals, five assists) during a four-game point streak.