There are two games on tonight’s National Hockey League schedule. In the first of the two, the New York Rangers, who have yet to play at home this season, head to the Verizon Center in D.C. to go head-to-head with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
Both of these teams are desperate for a win. The Rangers, who have started the season 1-4-0, are on Game 6 of a 9 game opening road trip. The Capitals are 2-4-0.
Unfortunately for the Capitals, having the number two scorer in the NHL doesn’t always equate to a winning record. Ovechkin leads the team with 6 goals and 3 assists for a total of 9 points.
Most recently, the Capitals have dropped 3 in a row until Monday night when they were able to overcome the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. On the other side of the ice, the Rangers have dropped their last 3 games, by quite a large margin too.
The worst outing so far came at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, where the Capitals were defeated 9-2.
When you look at the tale of the tape, the two teams are fairly evenly matched.
The advantage does go to Washington, but not by much.
Washington has an average of 2.67 goals per game, while New York has about 1.8. Washington also outranks New York in average Shots on Goal as well. Washington averages 31.67 per game, where New York has 27.
Washington also has double the amount of Power Play Goals as New York with 8.
Between the pipes, neither side is a clear winner.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is currently 1-3-0 in his 5 appearances so far this year with a GAA of 4.21, and a Save Percentage of .887. These are hardly the numbers that we are used to seeing from King Henry.
On the other side of the ice, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is not in a much better situation. He is 1-3-0 in his 5 appearances with a GAA of 3.56 and a Save Percentage .886.
Rangers backup goalie Martin Biron was recently reassigned to their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, after sustaining a GAA of 7.65 with a Save Percentage of .763. I think at that point, you should just throw a defenseman in the net and hope for the best. Hey, those kind of plays work in baseball, after all.
This game is going to come down to a battle of sheer will, and who is willing to work the hardest.
You can expect a high scoring matchup; however, if you ask my opinion, which we all know you psychically just did, I think you are going to see Washington come out on top tonight.
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
Network: NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2