NY Rangers at Washington
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, October 22, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
The reigning Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals are off to another fast start and look to remain unbeaten in regulation when they host the New York Rangers on Saturday night in a matchup of Metropolitan Division rivals. Washington has rattled off three consecutive victories since a shootout loss at defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh in the season opener.
The Capitals have allowed five goals during their 3-0-1 start after earning their first road win with a 4-2 victory at Florida on Thursday night. “We’ve gotten better marginally every game we’ve played,” Washington forward Justin Williams said. “I mean, kind of hard not to. ... We’re talking a little bit more, we’re supporting a little bit more and we’re getting to know each other a little bit more.” New York has been boom-or-bust offensively, scoring 12 goals in its two victories while being limited to three in one-goal losses to St. Louis and Detroit. "We could easily be sitting here 4-0," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told reporters Friday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE RANGERS (2-2-0): Vigneault has justification for thinking his team could be unbeaten -- New York outshot Detroit 33-18 in Thursday's 2-1 defeat and enjoyed a 35-18 shots on goal in a 3-2 setback at St. Louis, only to fail on all six power-play chances in both contests. Vigneault tinkered with his lines and power-play units during practice Friday, with one combination featuring Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad. Henrik Lundqvist will start Saturday but the coach is unsure who will get the not Sunday versus Arizona.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (3-0-1): Forward Daniel Winnik had an eventful night in Thursday's victory, losing a piece of his ear while blocking a shot in the third period and returning to the ice afterward. "He got the puck sort of in the ear hole, and it sort of pinched off his ear," coach Barry Trotz said. "Trainers looked at him, and he was just fine -- just missing a piece of his ear. It was just a small piece, but it got chewed up." Captain Alex Ovechkin has scored in back-to-back games, including the game-winner versus Florida.
1. Ovechkin has scored 27 goals in 44 games versus New York.
2. Lundqvist is 19-9-4 lifetime against the Capitals, but he had a 4.09 goals-against average in three matchups last season.
3. Washington's power play has converted on only 2 of 14 opportunities.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Rangers 3
Stats and Records