What to look for as the Rangers take on the Caps

The Rangers (8-8-2) host the Washington Capitals (16-3-4) tonight at MSG.

The Rangers will be without Mika Zibanejad but Kaapo Kakko will return after missing the past two games with the flu and Tim Gettinger will make his season debut.

The lines tonight are expected to be:





  • Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast
  • Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Brendan Lemieux, Brett Howden, Kaapo Kakko
  • Brendan Smith, Greg McKegg, Tim Gettinger

Artemi Panarin has 5 goals and 12 assists during his 11 game point streak and Ryan Strome has 16 points in the past 13 games.

Henrik Lundqvist will start in net for the Rangers.

The Capitals, 10-1-1, on the road this season and are 7-1-1 in the month of November.

The Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom, Nic Dowd and former Ranger Carl Hagelin tonight.

They will also be without forward Garnet Hathaway as he has been suspended three games for a spitting incident against Anaheim on Monday.

Washington has the 5th best PP in the NHL this season and the Rangers have allowed 7 PP goals in the past 11 times they’ve been shorthanded.

The Caps defeated the Rangers 5-2 in a game where David Quinn said, “from my end of it was how bad we were defensively, the glaring chances we gave up, the number of glaring chances, the turnovers, the lack or urgency in the D-zone, that is where all of our troubles start.”

He added, “you gotta play defense, you have to play defense. It’s frustrating because I thought we were making some strides in that area but…when the game starts it has to be a big piece of you and when it ends and you evaluate yourself, asking ‘did I play good defense tonight, was I committed to playing good defense tonight’ has to be part of the evaluation process.”

Adam Rotter: The Captails are the best team in hockey and the Rangers won’t have any margin for error if they want to come away with two points. They will need to win the special teams battle, get good goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and and probably rely on Artemi Panarin to drive the offense. The Caps PP has been deadly in the same way for 14-years, Alex Ovechkin in his spot, and the Rangers will have to pay attention to him but make better reads and better plays than they have in the past two games. Kaapo Kakko is back, which will be nice, but the Rangers will need a major team effort to get two points.