Monday, April 30, 2012
W2W4: Rangers vs. Caps
By Katie Strang
At a glance: The Rangers took a 1-0 series lead with a win over the Capitals in Game 1, but Washington has since vowed to be better. Both teams enter Monday’s contest at Madison Square Garden after a tight-checking, defensive-minded series opener and expect more of the same as the semifinals match-up continues in Game 2.
Boyle game-time decision: Rangers forward Brian Boyle, who has missed the past three games with a concussion, was uncertain about whether he will play in Monday’s match at Madison Square Garden. The 6-foot-6 center said he had “no idea” if he will be available to play and will wait until later Monday afternoon before deciding if he is ready.
Dubinsky out: The news was not so good for Brandon Dubinsky, however. The 26-year-old forward, who appeared to suffer a leg injury in Game 7 against the Senators on Thursday, will miss his second straight game. Defenseman Steve Eminger, who played forward for the first time in his career on Saturday, could replace him in the lineup again. Hulking enforcer John Scott also may make his 2012 playoffs debut.
Jack Adams nod: Rangers coach John Tortorella joins St. Louis’ Ken Hitchock and Ottawa’s Paul MacLean as one of three finalists for this year’s Jack Adams award. This is his third nomination for the award, given out each year to the league’s best coach as voted by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. Tortorella won in 2004, the same season in which his Tampa Bay Lightning squad won the Stanley Cup, and finished second in voting the previous year in 2003.
Semin demotion: After a brutal Game 1 in which he took two bone-headed stick penalties, Capitals winger Alexander Semin was demoted to the fourth line in practice on Sunday. Caps coach Dale Hunter denied he was sending a message (“Oh, just switching the lines around” he said after Monday’s morning skate) but the 28-year-old forward appears to be in the dog house after Saturday’s disappointing performance.
Ovie outlook:Alex Ovechkin was good-natured about the taunts that welcomed him to Madison Square Garden Saturday, but he might become a little surlier should his drought continue. The superstar forward was held off the scoresheet in Game 1 and limited to only one shot on goal.
Ch-Ch-Changes: Washington’s Jeff Schultz returns to the line for the Capitals after being scratched on Saturday.