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GAME OF THE NIGHT: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Friday, April 24, 2009 7pm ET

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davetherave

davetherave
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Friday, April 24, 2009 7pm ET NyrNY Rangers at GAME OF THE NIGHT: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Friday, April 24, 2009 7pm ET WasWashington

7:00 PM ET, April 24, 2009
Verizon Center, Washington, DC

TSN/Versus/RDS

Rangers-Capitals Preview

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- The world's greatest hockey player has his back against the wall, so he coped as only a modern athlete can -- by logging on to the Internet.

"I go to our fan club message boards," Alex Ovechkin said Thursday. "And they say, 'OK, like, what's next?' 'What do we have to do?' 'Trade him.' 'Build new team.' It's kind of an interesting situation."

Why subject himself to all that angst? Surely, the fact that the favored Washington Capitals are down 3-1 in their first-round series against to the New York Rangers should speak for itself.

"I just want to see how our fans react," Ovechkin said. "Of course, they're not happy, but we're not happy, either. But it is what it is. We lost three games. I think we play good enough in the games, but one guy beats our team."

That one guy is Henrik Lundqvist, who has all but single-handedly put the Rangers within one victory of advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the third straight year.

Washington has outshot (149-99), outscored (8-7) and arguably outplayed New York over the balance of five games, but the Capitals' potent offense found its rhythm only in Game 3's 4-0 win .

"The reason that they've won three out of four is he's stood on his head," center Brooks Laich said. "And sometimes as shooters you get frustrated and you try and force shots in, and then you try and shoot for corners and you end up shooting it wide. Sometimes he can be in your head. We're giving him 35, 36 shots at the net each game; we just have to make sure to find a way to bear down on our opportunities and somehow find the back of the net."

The second-seeded Capitals need to win the final three games, starting with Friday night's Game 5, to avoid an early exit that would be tough to take for a team with such high expectations.

The good news, at least from a motivational standpoint, is that they nearly pulled off the same thing last year when they trailed the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 before rallying to tie the series -- only to lose Game 7 in overtime.

"Last year was a much more physical series at this time," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't think there's been a hatred built up between New York and us like Philadelphia, so that series is different. Their goalie's playing a little bit out of his head -- I don't even know if it's out of his head; it's normal for him. But if we dwell on last year, we'll end up where we were last year, so we've got to dwell on what's in front of us. It's a new situation, a new team. We didn't get the job done last year, and this year hopefully in the same situation we will."

The Rangers, likewise, haven't had much luck against Capitals rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov, who is 1-2 in the series despite allowing only three goals in three games. Varlamov's first significant mistake came Wednesday night -- he bobbled a shot in his glove, allowing a rebound that was put into the net -- and it was the difference in New York's 2-1 victory.

With such a small margin for error, Rangers coach John Tortorella has little tolerance for silly mistakes -- such as Sean Avery's two undisciplined penalties while New York was trying to preserve a one-goal lead in the third period.

"If we keep on flirting with the discipline problems, we'll lose," Tortorella said. "And not just one game. Momentum changes. We've been flirting with that all series long and a big part of our situation (Wednesday) night is I thought our penalty killing was just outstanding along with some great goaltending at key times. But, you cannot keep going to the well like that with the lack of discipline we have shown at times and expect to continue to be in the series."

Back in Washington, Ovechkin -- held without a goal in the series until scoring early in the third period Wednesday -- was getting his fill from the message boards. He said he's never posted anything himself, but what message would he put up there if he had to?

"Keep your head up. We need support right now," Ovechkin said. "Like last year. Fans were great all season long. Wish us well. Scream loud."

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
Rangers will seal the deal tonight.

davetherave

davetherave
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shabbs wrote:Rangers will seal the deal tonight.

I have a feeling Ovie N Da Krew will have been doing some major team bonding.

The first period of tonight's game will be especially electrifying.

The series belongs to the Rangers right now--they must decide, each and every one, if they want it more than the Caps.

We already know what The King wants. He wants to vanquish Alexander the Gr8 and his Red Army.

Swedes are tougher than people give them credit for.

What a series.

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
The truth shall be revealed... tonight...

davetherave

davetherave
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shabbs wrote:The truth shall be revealed... tonight...

Two questions.

If the Caps win tonight, can they overcome The King back at the Garden to force a 7th game?

If the Rangers win tonight, can they beat the Bruins?

I LOVE it. This is playoff hockey.
:##: :##: :##: :##: :##:

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
Third question: Avery in or out tonight?

davetherave

davetherave
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shabbs wrote:Third question: Avery in or out tonight?

IMHO Avery in, wearing a spiked collar and leash LOL

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
I can Torts putting him in the line-up and then if he acts up... ride some pine...

SensFan71


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davetherave wrote:
shabbs wrote:Third question: Avery in or out tonight?

IMHO Avery in, wearing a spiked collar and leash LOL

don't forget its a shock collar and Torts holds the remote Laughing3

davetherave

davetherave
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SensFan71 wrote:
davetherave wrote:
shabbs wrote:Third question: Avery in or out tonight?

IMHO Avery in, wearing a spiked collar and leash LOL

don't forget its a shock collar and Torts holds the remote Laughing3

The Seanster likes it rough LOL.

SensFan71


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davetherave wrote:
SensFan71 wrote:
davetherave wrote:
shabbs wrote:Third question: Avery in or out tonight?

IMHO Avery in, wearing a spiked collar and leash LOL

don't forget its a shock collar and Torts holds the remote Laughing3

The Seanster likes it rough LOL.

I think Torts does too, this could be a match made in "dom" heaven Puking2 Ahhhhh!

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
SensFan71 wrote:I think Torts does too, this could be a match made in "dom" heaven Puking2 Ahhhhh!

If there are any reports of Torts and Seanster hanging out in the 'leather bars' in the Village you'll know the answer to that one LOL...

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
Good old Avery...

GAME OF THE NIGHT: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Friday, April 24, 2009 7pm ET Avery_41221

Tsk tsk tsk...

beedub

beedub
Veteran
Veteran
I did not give credence to the notion of the Rangers taking this stranglehold on Washington. I though Washington had too many snipers to be held down indefinitely.

I do believe now that Washington is done tonight(watch, calls will be made as of tomorrow morning for a name goalie to come there. Might see Khabibulin in red)

I don't give credence to New York beating Boston, so as you can imagine, they will do the polar opposite and crush the Bruins.

Now as for Sean Avery and John Tortorella. The point was made on the radio this morning that Avery is likely doing EXACTLY what Torts has set him up to do. Betcha Torts even warned Avery that he would throw him under the bus, but to keep plugging.

He's doing exactly what he's advertised as being capable of. And IMO he's doing it with his coach's secret blessing IMO

shabbs

shabbs
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Hall of Famer
Interesting theory... his lack of EXPLOSIONS in the media about it would support that... hmmmm...

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