Now that the regular season has ended, everyone is excited to see the playoff matchups. There are a few exciting first round matchups, but the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers series is sure to be a great one. While the Capitals are in third place and the Rangers in sixth, the teams only have one point difference in the standings.
The two teams had a seven game series last year that nobody should have missed. Braden Holtby came out of nowhere and was one of the best goalies in the playoffs as a rookie. The Caps played a great series, but in the end the Rangers won the final game and advanced.
This year both teams are very similar. The Capitals started off as the worst team in the league to many surprised fans. They only just made the playoffs in the last few games of the season. The Rangers also disappointed as many speculated they would lead the Eastern Conference. They also had many troubles and had to ship out one of their offensive stars in Marian Gaborak. Although the Rangers made the playoffs, many of their players have come up short and need to step up to advance.
Alex Ovechkin is the only reason the Capitals were even close to making the playoffs. After a slow start, he went on an absolute tear and managed to win the Rocket Richard Trophy with 32 goals. He is also tied for third in the NHL in points with 56. While the Rangers have struggled offensively, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash haven’t. Stepan leads the team with 44 points and also leads with a plus 25. The team’s trade for Nash has worked out perfectly as he has dominated with 42 points in 44 games. Fans should also be sure to watch Henrik Lundqvist and Holtby who’ll both be stars in this series.