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Rangers Skate Notes: Drury a Game-Time Call

There were only a handful of Rangers on the ice this morning for the team's optional skate at Verizon Center and most left before reporters were allowed in the locker room, but Coach John Tortorella did say that New York captain Chris Drury will be a game-time decision.

Drury, who skated for the first time in five days yesterday, missed the Rangers' regular-season finale and has been resting an undisclosed injury.

Special Teams
One of the best subplots of this series will be how the Caps' second-best power play, converting 25.2 percent of the time (85 of 337) fares against the Rangers top penalty-killing unit, which squashes man-advantages 87.8 percent, giving up goals on just 40 of 329 attempts.

Despite his team's strength on the penalty kill though, Tortorella is acutely aware of the danger the Capitals' pose.

"If we sit in the box for extended periods of time during these games, we're not going to win them," Tortorella said. "They are that good on their power play. They win hockey games on their power play, especially of late. I'll give you that is a dangerous power play. Our penalty killing has been outstanding this year, but we cannot get into that type of situation where we're killing a number of minutes during a game. Sooner or later, they're going to get ya."

Home Ice Pressure.
Earlier this week Tortorella said he was happy to be the visiting team for the early portion of the series. When asked to expand upon that today, his logic was simple -- the Rangers don't have to live up to expectations of the 18,000-plus in Verizon Center tonight.

"I think when you get on the road as an away team -- we had some great travel yesterday -- we were together as a team on the train. We're all together, we're not all spread out," Tortorella said. "There's a tremendous amount of pressure on the home team to win those first two games. We come in here looking to steal one and see where we go from there... Game 7 is the advantage. If you do get to a game seven that's where the home ice advantage is -- that game."

Lines
Assuming Drury does play, here's what you can expect from the Rangers:

Avery-Gomez-Antropov
Naslund-Drury-Callahan
Korpikoski-Dubinski-Zherdev
Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Staal-Girardi
Mara-Morris
Redden-Rozival

Lundqvist


Also, head over to the D.C. Sports Bog for more on the goaltending matchup between Jose Theodore and Henrik Lundqvist.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 15, 2009; 2:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Caps vs. Rangers (Updated)

Comments

Tortorella is getting nervous. Does he know we are 29-9-3 at home? I hope all the fans going to the game cheer so loud that the Rangers won't be able to hear anything, they'll be deaf.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

repost: arrrrrghhhhhhh this clock is going too damn slow!!!!! need to get to verizon now!!!! anyone know the seating chart of the 300 section at verizon? i can't find it anywhere.

Posted by: CapsSkins | April 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Just can't wait anymore, the VC is gonna be jumping.

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

never heard of 300, although logically it must be there (given there are 100s, 200s, and 400s)

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 15, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait either! I can't sit still and I'm being totally unproductive at work. Hurry up, clock!

Posted by: capsfan26 | April 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

300-level is the all-suite level. If CapsSkins is sitting there, more power to him.

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd almost like it to get to game 7 to see how he wiggles out of saying that would be to our advantage. Almost...lets win it in 4 or 5.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 15, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Optional skate at VC this morning? They must have gotten the ice ready before the "Dead" show last night.

Posted by: CapsChick | April 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Can we give the goalies a rest already...we got it...Jose needs to be good...blog about something else Steinberg...there is a whole team in front of Jose that needs to play well too!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 15, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

torts is just doing coach speak. visiting team would always rather be on the road to avoid the pressure and "be together". while the home team says they are glad they are at home to get energized by the crowd, yada yada yada. you know torts would rather be at MSG. go caps.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 15, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, about as insightful as 'if your starting pitcher sucks in every game you're screwed'. duh

Posted by: mikebrady1 | April 15, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

F the NYR...ROCK THE RED...BE LOUDER THAN LOUD!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 15, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

So close...will be leaving for the game in less than 2 hours, could not be more pumped. Been waiting all year for this, hope the boys come out pumped and remember the moment.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | April 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Would it be inappropriate if I yelled down the office hallway... "UNLEASH THE FURY!!!"? Who cares... "UNLEASH THE FURY!!!"

From the moment our boys step on the ice for warmups, lets be loud and proud Caps fans!!!

Posted by: dsphvywght | April 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Did someone tell Johnny Torts that Aucoin isnt playing tonight.

Torts is all about preparation.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 15, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hope the game is better then the DEAD show last night. The acoustics were terrible. I left 2/3 of the way through.

Posted by: sidehillman | April 15, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 15, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@dsphvywght

I'll be screaming from my a$$ groove on the couch!!! Even during warm-up's .....gonna annoy my Penguin fan neighbor!!!

Posted by: bhound69 | April 15, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I will be at my friend's house enjoying the game. He is a Rangers fan...

Yes, i know....

Hey, he has a 72" plasma.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully after this week, every time he looks at that 72" plasma, he will be overcome by the painful memory of how the Caps bounced his precious Rangers out of the playoffs.

Posted by: capsfan26 | April 15, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It brings tears to my eyes to see you guys get ready to hit Verizon Center with your war paint and sweaters on! Make Torts eat his words, Capitals fans! Make him worry that he is in our house.

Capitals, hit them hard and fast! Don't give them a chance to even recover! Let's do this!

Is that enough exclamation points?!!! =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 15, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Tortorella is only saying that because he really is scared of Verizon Center, but he doesn't want people to know so he says starting on the road is better. Haha. You telling me 18,000+ isn't going to help us?

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I would be interested in looking at the special teams comparison head to head - anyone have it off hand? I doubt NY was killing Caps PPs at a 88% clip.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 14, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

a 75% clip actually.

caps were 4/16 on the powerplay vs. the rangers this year. i dunno, i think 25% is pretty darn good.

meanwhile, the caps killed off 14 of the 15 rangers' powerplays (that's 93% folks)

GO CAPS!

Posted by: virkulous | April 15, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully after this week, every time he looks at that 72" plasma, he will be overcome by the painful memory of how the Caps bounced his precious Rangers out of the playoffs.

Posted by: capsfan26 | April 15, 2009 4:13 PM |

I'm hoping his TV gets those red "burn-ins" of Ovie putting it top shelf over Lundy.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Verizon Center with the most votes as "loudest building in the playoffs." on the NHL.com. Wachovia Center with the fewest. :) Which is really suprising cause Flyers fans are so obnoxious. But we all know how silent that place can become once Ovie scores a few goals. Those fans suck, they stop cheering and sit on their hands whenever the Flyers give up a goal. Remember how silent the place was after Ovie scored 2 goals in game 6? And they started leaving with still 9 minutes left. Flyers fans suck! (And the team too)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

25% is around our total anyway. That's damn good.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I would also note that the Caps have looked pretty darned good on the PK themselves of late. I expect that to continue well in this series given the Rangers' record there.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 15, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

check out stein's blog w/ the rock the red rope light on top of the boards at vc. looks friggin great. hope it lights up after goals...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 15, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 15, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

seems like the chickens and the rooster are all stirred up in the hen house. There must be a fox in town.

Posted by: hock1 | April 15, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@Puckguru:


PLEASE!

However valid your points may be, I must take issue with the following:

1) Huet's departure from Washington was emphatically NOT a "blunder" on GMGM's part. In point of fact, GMGM made every resasonable effort to KEEP Huet, for a REASONABLE term and at a REASONABLE price. It was Huet who chose to leave us at the altar, giving up a starting job to become Khabibulin's (relatively ineffective and VERY expensive) backup.

So GMGM is vindicated on this--more so if/when Chicago is eliminated.

Perhaps you would have had GMGM pay whatever price Huet demanded without negotiation, and ended up with bigger salary cap troubles than those we already face?

I am a big QL fan as well, because he exemplifies what I have come to love about hockey as a player: The idea that perseverance can trump pure skill.


Let Huet blackmail us and you probably see no Laing...no Alzner...no Aucoin, etc.--in short, you end up like Calgary (only being able to dress 15 skaters). It's that simple.


2) Please stop referring to yourself in the third person--it is very annoying.


FEAR THE WEAGLE!
CAPS ALL THE WAY!!
IN BRUCE WE TRUST!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 15, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Lässt geht CAPS!!

FELS das ROTE!!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

all...trying to decide if i should flip $80 for nhl center ice package...

im in seattle so i can only get the games broadcast on NBC and Versus...and then i may be impacted by regional coverage...like i was with NBC this past sunday?

so does anyone know if versus does regional coverage? or if regional coverage will impact the caps nbc and versus games on the west coast?

this schedule suggests that all but the first game are national...but are they affected by regional?

if i thought id need to hit the center ice package for 4 or more games id do it in a heart beat. i have to assume were going a couple rounds at least...but are these national games really national or regional coverage?

Game Date Site Time TV
1 April 15 Verizon Center 7 p.m. CSN, TSN
2 April 18 Verizon Center 1 p.m. NBC, TSN
3 April 20 Madison Square Garden 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN
4 April 22 Madison Square Garden 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN
5* April 24 Verizon Center 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN, RDS
6* April 26 Madison Square Garden 2 p.m. NBC, TSN, RDS
7* April 28 Verizon Center TBD CSN, Versus, TSN, RDS

* If necessary

Posted by: deadskin | April 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I reeeeaalllly wish I didn't have class tonight. Not even the wines of Spain & Portugal are going to get me through my incessant scoreboard watching. Let's go Caps!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 15, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Deadskiin,
I would go to a sports bar on those days where you cannot watch at home. Who knows you might get lucky and get a free beer.

Posted by: hock1 | April 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Bruins in 5
Capitals in 5
Penguins in 7
Devils in 7
Sharks in 6
Red Wings in 7
Blues in 6
Flames in 7

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 15, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl,
can't you tape the class? FF those boring comments by the prof.

Posted by: hock1 | April 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl:
wtf - how can you put your future life above a playoff game by attending classes??

i've lost all respect for you :)

any chance of putting powder blue hair on pom-pom boy cindy?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Almost out the door...so close...LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 15, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

hock1, unfortunately, he'd know I wasn't there. And he's got a funeral attendance policy. As in, it had better be my funeral if I miss.

Kirk, :-P I'm DVRing it. I'll watch it when I get home. Unfortunately, I need my future life to afford my future playoff tickets. Is that better? And I'll see what I can do. Buy Photoshop for me and I'll even include the skirt.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | April 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed at the lack of dedication on your part jmu_capsgirl. *snicker* Of all times to get an edumacation! That's Pens talk if I ever heard it. =P

Capitals = important.
Class = occasionally important.

Any chance you could just drink the Spanish and Portuguese wines at home while the game goes on and write a one page critique on it??? =/ I feel your pain. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl: Not cool! :/ What good would it be to watch the game once you already know the score? You gotta watch it live. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin

I'd recommend a bar for the first round games you don't get.

VS is national - you'll get the game regardless of region.

Also, after the first round, I'm 95% sure all games are on VS. or National.

CenterIce is problematic during the playoffs. I have directTV and CenterIce for the whole season (I live in Chicago and need my caps coverage). It was great during the regular season - I only missed 2 games (blacked out because of VS exclusive coverage of a different game that started at the same time) the entire year. However, the playoffs are different. They only cover "select" games - and they haven't posted a schedule for those "select" games! It's really hit or miss. I'm going to be pissed if I get home and don't have access to the regional coverage of the game tonight!!!

Posted by: patrone | April 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

All 4 games tonight are nationally televised.

3 on VS., canes and devs on NBC.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely love the sea of red pictures Richmondphil. I am sooo jealous of all that will be there tonight!!! (Cannot wait to rock the red at the VC on Saturday!)
48 minutes!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

all who* (not all that)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

We definetely give those a Flames a run for that title of "Sea of Red."

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

So 2 out of three of the morons on Around the Horn who were asked for their predictions picked the Caps to win the east.

Posted by: doncosmic | April 15, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Game Date Site Time TV
1 April 15 Verizon Center 7 p.m. CSN, TSN
2 April 18 Verizon Center 1 p.m. NBC, TSN
3 April 20 Madison Square Garden 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN
4 April 22 Madison Square Garden 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN
5* April 24 Verizon Center 7 p.m. CSN, Versus, TSN, RDS
6* April 26 Madison Square Garden 2 p.m. NBC, TSN, RDS
7* April 28 Verizon Center TBD CSN, Versus, TSN, RDS

* If necessary

that was a big problem last year...seattle is not a hockey town...no sports bars i know of have center ice...they have the same programming for hockey i have...i for all of game six last year i was driving around seattle from bar to bar missing it...never found it...and only got updates from my mom and was so devistated i missed such a good game...cant have that happen again...ever...

Posted by: deadskin | April 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

sorry...messed that up

Posted by: deadskin | April 15, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Deadskiin,
I would go to a sports bar on those days where you cannot watch at home. Who knows you might get lucky and get a free beer.

Posted by: hock1 | April 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse


that was a big problem last year...seattle is not a hockey town...no sports bars i know of have center ice...they have the same programming for hockey i have...i for all of game six last year i was driving around seattle from bar to bar missing it...never found it...and only got updates from my mom and was so devistated i missed such a good game...cant have that happen again...ever!!!

Posted by: deadskin | April 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin

I'd recommend a bar for the first round games you don't get.

VS is national - you'll get the game regardless of region.

Also, after the first round, I'm 95% sure all games are on VS. or National.

CenterIce is problematic during the playoffs. I have directTV and CenterIce for the whole season (I live in Chicago and need my caps coverage). It was great during the regular season - I only missed 2 games (blacked out because of VS exclusive coverage of a different game that started at the same time) the entire year. However, the playoffs are different. They only cover "select" games - and they haven't posted a schedule for those "select" games! It's really hit or miss. I'm going to be pissed if I get home and don't have access to the regional coverage of the game tonight!!!

Posted by: patrone | April 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

ok cool...thanks for that...versus is national...so i guess the only ones i need to worry about is the nbc and i know im getting that one this weekend for starters...

and if center ice doesnt carry them all...well screw that...

i think ill take your advice then and watch this one online...and hopefully there wont be too many more i have to watch that way...

and hopefully we can get links to those...they've been pretty shotty this last month...

Posted by: deadskin | April 15, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

One of my teams rocked the red tonight as Man Utd because the first English team to win in Porto tonight as they moved into the European Cup semi finals.

Ok Caps, follow that and kick some NY arse!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | April 15, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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