A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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The Rangers will look to grab a 2-0 lead in their series with the Washington Capitals when they host game two at Madison Square Garden on Monday night (7:30 p.m.)
That was something the Rangers were unable to accomplish in the first round against the Senators as they lost game two 3-2 in overtime after giving up the tying goal late in the third period.
The Rangers will be looking for a better start Monday after managing only four shots in the first period of Saturday's 3-1 series-opening win. Rookie Chris Kreider and Brad Richards scored 90 seconds apart early in the third period to break a 1-1 tie.
While the power play continues to struggle -- 0-for-4 on Saturday -- the Rangers hope to continue their strong penalty killing, which was 4-for-4 on Saturday, including a key stretch late in the second period when New York killed off a two-man disadvantage.
The status of Brian Boyle, who has missed three straight games with a concussion, is uncertain, but he did practice on Sunday and appears to be getting closer to returning to the lineup.
However, Brandon Dubinksy did not practice Sunday due to a foot injury and is not expected to play on Monday.
Following Monday's game, the series moves to Washington for games three and four on Wednesday and Saturday. Game five would be back at the Garden next Monday.
Unfortunately, none of the remaining games will be available on MSG as NBSC has exclusive television rights for the remainder of the playoffs. Monday's contest will be televised by the NBC Sports Network (formally versus) and can be heard on Bloomberg radio 1130 AM.
Once again, the Rangers are being bumped off ESPN 1050 by the Knicks, who play game of their series against Miami on Monday.
Two stats, courtesy of the Rangers' web site:
-- Rangers have posted a 31-11 all-time record in the playoffs when winning game one. They have won six of the last seven series in which they won the first game, including their first-round seven-game series win over the Senators this year. The one loss, however, came to the Capitals in 2009, when the Rangers squadered a 3-1 series lead.
-- After delivering a game-high eight hits in Game 1, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan leads the NHL with 38 hits in the postseason so far. No surprise there.