Pregame: Rangers vs. Caps (Round 1, Game 3) — A must win? Probably

Pregame: Rangers vs. Caps (Round 1, Game 3) — A must win? Probably

The Rangers head back to the comforts of Madison Square Garden on Sunday for Game 3 of their first-round series with the Washington Capitals. The Caps lead the series 2-0. The puck drops at 3 p.m., and the game can be seen nationally on NBC. MSG will carry a postgame show following the game.

So, we need some sort of rah rah speech right now, don’t we? Hmm. How about John Tortorella from February?

After that pregame press conference, the Rangers went on to win 5-3 over the Penguins. Sooo…maybe?

I know it’s hard to think the Rangers can come back in the series, but it’s not like it’s never happened a team has come back from a 2-0 deficit. Not that I expect the Rangers to win the series, but they still have a shot to make it interesting. It starts with scoring a goal or two (it’s bound to happen with this team) and a win today at the Garden.

“But, Jen! The Rangers have an awful record at home!”

Misconception! After not playing so hot at home, the Rangers finished the season with a 20-17-4 at home. Is it a blow them out the door record? Certainly not, but it’s much better than where they were at the midseason mark. In fact, in their last 10 home games (dating back to March 1), the Rangers are 6-3-1 at home.

In other words, I haven’t given up although it seems like most fans are resigned to losing. Perhaps they will, but let’s go down with a fight. It’s more entertaining that way.

And also remember something else…The Rangers were up 2-0 the last time they played the Caps in the playoffs and ended up losing the series in seven games. Nothing is guaranteed in the playoffs.

Check in with Andrew Gross at The Record, who has the skinny on what happened at practice on Saturday. He also has what happened at the Capitals practice in Virginia. And Dave Lozo over at has an interesting piece on Gaborik’s scoring woes.

Pregame Poll

Rangers 1, Capitals 2 (Game 1)
Matt Gilroy scored early in the third period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. But just when we were getting comfortable, confident in Lundqvist and the defense, not worried there would be an overtime, Alex Ovechkin scored as the Capitals crowded and crashed the net. The play was reviewed, and the replay showed the puck squirt by Lundqvist. We headed to overtime, and the Rangers looked tired in the second half of the extra period. On a bad change and then a bad clear, the puck ended up on Alexander Semin’s stick (insert childish joke here), who scored the winning goal. Caps lead the series 1-0.

Rangers 0, Capitals 2 (Game 2)

The Rangers came out strong in the first period on Friday, but they didn’t get the puck in the net. And in the second period, the Rangers couldn’t keep up their intensity. The Capitals took advantage of the Rangers mistakes. Jason Chimera scored a little more than two minutes into the second to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. Then Jason “Once a Devil Always a Devil” Arnott scored about two minutes later. The score would remain 2-0 as Neuvirth notched the shutout.

Rangers blogs
Rick Carpiniello’s Rangers Report
Andrew Gross’ Rangers Rants
Jesse Spector’s Blueshirt Blog
Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes (pay wall alert)

Game Thread
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Lets go Rangers!