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It’s official: Rangers, Capitals will meet in first round

Apr 27, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

OvechkinCallahan

It’ll be Washington against New York in the playoffs.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

For the third straight year, the Rangers and Caps will meet in the Stanley Cup playoffs after the Rangers clinched sixth in the East on Saturday night.

The Blueshirts beat the Devils 4-0, then watched as Ottawa lost 2-1 to the Flyers, ensuring New York would finish as the No. 6 seed.

(Washington beat Boston 3-2 in overtime, but the game had no bearing on the Caps’ playoff positioning.)

As mentioned above, the pending first-round matchup will be the third time in as many years we’ve seen Caps-Rangers battle in the postseason.

Last year, New York toppled Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals, a grueling seven-game series that included an epic triple-OT Game 3 — the 20th-longest overtime game in playoff history.

In 2010-11, the top-seeded Capitals dispatched  the No. 8 Rangers in five games in the opening playoff round. That series was highlighted by New York’s anemic offense, which could only muster eight total goals.

One interesting wrinkle here from the Washington side of things — three series vs. New York, three different head coaches.

Bruce Boudreau was behind the bench in 2011, and Dale Hunter was the head coach last year.

This season, it’s rookie head coach Adam Oates, who engineered a stunning in-season turnaround that resulted in Washington winning its fifth Southeast Division title in the last six years.

  1. bohman88 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Can’t wait to watch it. GO CAPS!

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Operation: Get Tortorella Fired
      Status: ENGAGED!
      CAPS IN 6!!!!!!

  2. President Charles Logan - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Caps in 6

  3. giantssb42champs - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    NYrR in 6. Pains me as as Isles fan.

  4. canucks30 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

  5. ludacrish05 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Holtbys revenge baby!!!!!!

  6. multiplemiggs - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Scott Gomez HAHAHAHAHA WHAT A JOKE

  7. canucks30 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    This is turning into a fun rivalry

  8. rockthered1286 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Caps in 6. And Avery will have a smart ass remark.

  9. jaredo10 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Rangers in 5 if close staal and dorsett are in the lineup

  10. stakex - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Again? I was kinda hoping for a Boston/Rangers matchup just because it hasn’t happened since the 70’s.

    Should be a good series though. Rangers have the edge in defense and goaltending, and the Caps have the edge in offense, not to mention have the hottest player on the planet. I do however think the Rangers defense and Lundqvist will be the difference, and it will be the Rangers in 7.

  11. adge84 - Apr 28, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Rangers took the season series 2-1. Both teams have been hot of late. Rangers in 6 due to d and goaltending. Should be a fun one

  12. odj810 - Apr 28, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    got some great 1st round matchups potentially. (good matchups in the west for sure). pitt against ottawa would be better than some may think. montreal or boston vs toronto absolutely. nyr washington. the isles r hot at the right time. It also sets up for some potential next round matchups. Sid vs ovi or pens rangers? bruins canadiens? Can’t wait.

  13. ludacrish05 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Rangers will NOT win this series, caps in 5

  14. rockthered1286 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Why does everyone think the Caps D & goaltending is so inferior to the Rangers D & goaltending? Holtby has twice as many SO’s as Henrik, and if you take out his first 5 starts when the entire team struggled his GAA and Sv % is not that far from Henriks. Defensively the Caps are substantially better than they get credit for, especially on the back check. Next time the Caps play watch Ovi get back and help, along with all other forwards. This was a major weak spot in years past that Oatesy has corrected. I’d also like to point out the BIGGEST advantage for the Caps- they have the #1 power play unit in the NHL. And before anybody discredits them against a good D? They went 2 for 5 against the Bruins #1 PK unit last night. Caps in 6.

  15. jkay1818 - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Rock the red, coming from a rangers fan, the rangers d isn’t as good as last yr, especially with staal still out. Their pk is mediocre at best this season, the NYR definitely need to stay out of the box. D isn’t as good as last yr, but their o is more effective with the deadline additions. Going to be another great series with familiar foes.

    • tfaltin - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      You know that’s a very easy thing to say, but just is not true. Last year the Rangers rolled 5 defenseman, with Brian freaking Bickell getting 5 minutes per game. Eminger is playing better with John Moore, who I am a HUGE fan of. McDonagh and Girardi are both elite, Del Zotto’s game has matured, along with Stralman. If, and a big if, Staal comes back I’d say the Rangers have one of the best/deepest D in the playoffs.

      • gaborik104life - Apr 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Agreed tfaltin Brian Bickell did not really affect the Rangers defense at all. There is one reason for it and it is not because Torts does not like him. I would imagine he would like him, if he was actually on the Rangers, in the Atlantic division, or even in the conference. However I doubt that Torts knows much about him considering he is a part of the Chicago Blackhawks, in the Central division, in the Western Conference who they rarely play.

        What I am trying to say is it’s STUUUUUUUUUUU BICKEL hence why they chant STUUUUUUU whenever he does something good.

  16. mrpigs - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    NYR is the least penalized team in the league, staying out of the box shouldn’t be an issue!

  17. tfaltin - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    This will probably be one of the most entertaining series of the first round. I think the Rangers are more built for the playoffs though. Moore has been a great depth defensive addition. Girardi and McDonagh will see Ovechkin every shift, and he struggles against that pairing. The Rangers will be able to grind the Caps defense, and Stepan, Richards, Nash and Callahan are finally all hot together. Edge has to go to Lundqvist in net. Rangers in 6.

  18. caps4cup - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Lets go caps. Lets win the cup

  19. jkay1818 - Apr 28, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Tfaltin, it’s stu bickell, and it is true, their PK is medicore to bad this season when it was top 3 last yr. Overall they arent better defensively. Prust is gone, boyle is hurt, fedotenko is gone and so is dubinsky (he missed 99% of the playoff games anyway last yr) Staal being out is a huge disadvantage. Girardi and Mcdonagh will see them ovi every shift for sure, but if you looked at the past 4 seasons, marc staal shadowed ovechkin. staal came out with any dman if ovechkin was on the ice. those 2 have a nice rivalry. del zotto hasn’t matured just yet, in fact he regressed since last season. he started regressing in the NJD devils series. He has his moments and is a good skater, but. he turns the puck over a ton, makes bad decisions and is out of position a lot. Moore is def a nice addition because he’s an excellent skater but comparing this yr’s D to last is just wrong when you look at the overall picture. That being said, it’s a good D but their offense has improved since last yr, especially since the deadline, so the Rangers should have a good shot of advancing.

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