The Rangers worked on their power play in the second of two practice sessions Monday. They will do so again today. They know it could be the difference in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the resurgent Capitals, which opens Thursday at Washington. "Yeah, absolutely," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "I think going into the playoffs, special teams is always going to play a big part but playing a team that’s red hot on the power play, we know we can’t take too many penalties." The third-seeded Capitals, facing the Rangers in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, are actually just red hot, having gone 11-1-1 in April and 15-2-2 to finish the season. Their power play led the NHL at 44-for-164 (26.8 percent), while the Rangers ranked 23rd at 24-for-153 (15.7 percent). The Rangers’ penalty kill ranked 15th in the league while the Capitals were 27th. Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 32 goals, scored 16 with the man advantage. And a healthy Mike Green resembles his past All-Star form, with 12 goals and 14 assists in 35 games, including four power-play goals and 10 power-play assists. "Since the last lockout [in 2004-05], special teams have been the main part of the game," right wing Rick Nash said. "So you win the special teams game and you have a good chance to win the actual game." Nash was part of the first power-play unit, up front with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan, with Brad Richards and defenseman Dan Girardi on the points. Defensemen John Moore and Michael Del Zotto manned the points on the second unit with Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Taylor Pyatt.
Rangers must power up against Capitals
North Jersey | Apr 30