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Capitals at Rangers preview

Washington center Backstrom out with upper-body injury; New York 3-1-1 in past five home games

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

CAPITALS (16-3-4) at RANGERS (8-8-2)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS


The Game

Nicklas Backstrom will miss his first game of the season when the Washington Capitals play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Backstrom, the Capitals center who has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) this season, is out with an upper-body injury and considered day to day, coach Todd Reirden said.

The Capitals are 8-0-1 in nine road games since Oct. 12. The nine-game road point streak is the longest in the NHL this season.

The Rangers are coming off back-to-back road losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. They are 3-1-1 in their past five home games.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin needs one power-play goal to tie Hockey Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne (255) for third place in NHL history.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in an 11-game point streak, the longest of his NHL career.


They said it

"We've been pretty fortunate here over the years, not too many guys have been out of the lineup, but when someone did have an injury, the guys that came in did a phenomenal job. … It's a great opportunity for everybody to get out there and show what they can do." -- Capitals forward Tom Wilson

"We've just got to avoid those mistakes where we think offense when we just have to manage the game. We went up 3-2 [against Florida] and as our tendency has been throughout the season we start cheating. … We've been addressing it." -- Rangers coach David Quinn


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Richard Panik -- Michael Sgarbossa -- Travis Boyd

Beck Malenstyn -- Chandler Stephenson -- Brendan Leipsic

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Radko Gudas

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Nick Jensen

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Tyler Lewington

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (upper body), Nic Dowd (upper body), Carl Hagelin (upper body)

Suspended: Garnet Hathaway


Rangers projected lineup 

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Chris Kreider -- Filip Chytil -- Pavel Buchnevich

Brendan Lemieux -- Brett Howden -- Kaapo Kakko

Tim Gettinger -- Greg McKegg -- Brendan Smith

Libor Hajek -- Jacob Trouba

Brady Skjei -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Micheal Haley

Injured: Mika Zibanejad (upper body), Marc Staal (ankle)


Status report

Hathaway was suspended three games by the NHL for a spitting incident involving Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson on Monday. ... Malentstyn is expected to make his NHL debut after being recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. … Eller will move up from the third line to replace Backstrom. … Sgarbossa, who hasn't played in the NHL since the 2016-17 season, was recalled Wednesday and will take Eller's spot on the third line. … Gettinger will make his season debut after being recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Sunday. … Zibanejad will miss his 10th consecutive game.


Stat pack

Lundqvist is one win from tying Curtis Joseph (454) for fifth place in NHL history. … Carlson has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in a seven-game point streak. … Holtby is 10-0-1 in his past 11 starts, a stretch that started with a 5-2 win against the Rangers on Oct. 18.

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