WSH-NYR Postcard 2

Throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, writers will be sending postcards from the eight first-round series. Today, staff writer Tom Gulitti checks in from New York:

Hello from New York, the city that never sleeps, especially when the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks are both playing in the postseason.

Monday night was the Knicks’ turn, as they played Game 2 of their first-round NBA series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rangers and Washington Capitals retook the grand stage at Madison Square Garden for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Tuesday.

Walking around outside the Garden, you could feel the anticipation of another big night here. Rangers faithful, clad in the jerseys of their favorite players, gathered at the Fan Plaza on the 31st Street side of the arena, where they waited in line for the face painting booth and to have their photos taken with Rangers alumni Stephane Matteau and Glenn Anderson. If you wanted to get your photo taken with Matteau and Cuppy, the Dunkin’ mascot, this was the place to be.

WSH-NYR Postcard 3

I’ve lived in Washington for more than eight years, but it’s still strange being a visitor in New York because I grew up on Long Island and lived in New Jersey for nearly 25 years after that. The first Stanley Cup Playoff game I attended was between the Rangers and Capitals here in 1986. It was Game 4 of the Patrick Division Finals, and, by coincidence, it was on this date 38 years ago -- April 23, 1986. (I looked it up.)

The Garden has changed a lot since then, but this building still has a special feel for the playoffs. That’s why it’s among visiting NHL players’ favorite arenas to play in.

I’m sure it will be a similar scene with Capitals fans Rocking the Red for Game 3 at Capital One Arena on Friday. 

See you there,