The Washington Capitals left Buffalo Saturday after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Sabres. Goalie Braden Holby lost his first game in 23 and was replaced by Philipp Grubauer in the second period. This switch up may change plans for Gurbi to start in the net this afternoon. It’s a wait-and-see for that decision according to Coach Trotz.
The New York Rangers narrowly left Philadelphia on Saturday with a shootout win. The Rangers had 31 shots on goal but it was Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller that scored—with two shots each. No surprise that they played a physical game with 37 hits and Dan Boyle sitting in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Rangers have announced that Antti Raanta will start in the net for them as they aim to get their first consecutive win.
Both teams are hitting the ice having played tough games on Saturday. And both teams have something to prove this evening with both wanting back-to-back wins. As always with this rivalry meeting, it should be a physical game with lots of penalties and some crazy shooting. Hold on to your seats friends as we who walks with the win and how long it takes to get there.
GAME TIME IS 5pm
Your Projected Lineup for Tonight
Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie
Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams
Chimera Johansson Wilson
Richards Sill Latta
Braden Holtby or Philip Grubauer in the net.
Jason Chimera, with his assist on the Johannson goal last night now has 200 career NHL assists.
Kuznetsov and Backstrom lead the team in overall points at 41 each.
Ovechkin leads the team with 26 goals. Kuznetsov follows with 15 goals.
Injury Report and Team Scratches
Jay Beagle: He continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another four weeks. Even Beags is skating now and working with the trainers before practice starts.
John Carlson is still day-to-day. He is skating before team practice. Should be back before the All Stars.
Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. Like John, should be back before the All Stars.
No word yet on the third and fourth line changes for the Rangers game. Mike Richards played in Buffalo and Brooks Laich sat it out. Chances are good Richards will play again as will Latts. Game-time decision. Coach had nothing but good things to say about the Latta line so don’t expect a change as they “regroup.”
The Rangers Projected Lineup
The NYR are playing up and down with the New York Islanders for second position in the Metropolitan Division.
Miller Brassard Zuccarello
Kreider Stephan Nash
Lindberg Hayes Fast
Glass Moore Stalberg
Antti Raanta gets the nod in the net tonight. He may be a little rusty since he hasn’t played since December 17.
Henrik Lundqvist improved his stats with the Saturday win to 20-12-4 and his 20th win for the 11th consecutive season. Only Martin Brodeur and Tony Esposito have had similar stats in their careers.
More Milestones Coming:
Michael Latta is ONE games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.
Brooks Laich is one game away from passing beloved Rod Langway’s 726th games played for eight place in the Caps franchise.
Karl Alzner, the Iron Man, is three points away from 100 NHL points and five games short of passing Bob Carpenter (422) for the longest consecutive games played in franchise history.
Next Games and Practices
Jan 18: The team is off for Monday
Jan 19: 11:30 Morning Skate at Nationwide Arena, Columbus
Jan 19: 7pm Game at Columbus Blue Jackets – CSN
Photos by Brittney Marcum