Mar. 24, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) takes a shot on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Washington won in a shootout, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Playoffs 2013: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers Series Preview

The NHL Playoffs are finally upon us, which means it’s time to look ahead to what the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs hold. From the best team in hockey down to those who limped in at the very end of the season, this year’s field is loaded with teams itching to see their championship dreams realized. All the action kicks off April 30th, so let’s take a look at what’s in store for the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.

Series Schedule: 

SERIES C TIME (ET) #3  VS.  #6 NETWORKS
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013 7:30 P.M. NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON NBCSN, TSN
SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013 12:30 P.M. NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON NBC, TSN
MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013 7:30 P.M. WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS NBCSN, TSN
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013 7:30 P.M. WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS NBCSN, TSN
*FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013 7:30 P.M. NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON TSN
*SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013 TBD WASHINGTON AT NY RANGERS TSN
*MONDAY, MAY 13, 2013 TBD NY RANGERS AT WASHINGTON TSN

Washington Capitals:

It’s been a postseason career of disappointment for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, but that might all change this season. After struggling last year and at the start of this year, Ovechkin is back to being one of the NHL’s most dangerous game-changers and as usual the Caps are going to live and die by him. That’s both a blessing and a curse, but there’s not better guy to hinge your changes on that Ovechkin.

New York Rangers:

Once you beat gritty, mean defensemen who love blocking shots, you have to score on one of the best netminders to ever play the game of hockey. This is what makes the New York Rangers so dangerous and gives them an amazing chance to win more than just this series. Brad Richards may have saved his best hockey for the postseason, and if he’s firing as well, the Rangers look to be unstoppable.

Bottom Line:

Without Marc Staal, the Rangers aren’t as deep on defense as you’d like them to be and that could end up hurting them. The same goes for the Caps, who are seriously lacking they type of blue line depth you want on a Stanley Cup contender. Still, this is a gritty matchup that better got the full seven if just for entertainment value. The Rangers look pretty good though, and don’t let the 6-seed fool you. If they get past the Caps and do so convincingly, look for them to claw their way to a likely meeting in the Stanley Cup with Chicago.

Prediction: New York Rangers win series 4-3

Tags: New York Rangers NHL Washington Capitals

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