(1) Rangers - (7) Capitals preview - 04-28-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Note: We apologize for this being late. We'll have a preview of the Flyers-Devils up tomorrow.

(1) Rangers vs. (7) Capitals

Rangers Leading Posteason Scorer: Brad Richards (right), five points (two goals, three assists).

Capitals Leading Regular Season Scorer: Alex Ovechkin, five points (two goals, three assists).

Rangers Expected Starting Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist, 4-3, 1.70 GAA, .945 SV%.

Capitals Expected Starting Goaltender: Braden Holtby (below), 4-3, 2.00 GAA, .940 SV%.

Rangers Regular Season Statistics

Capitals Regular Season Statistics

Rangers Injuries: Defenseman Steve Eminger (undisclosed) is day to day. Center Brian Boyle (concussion) and left winger Mats Zuccarello (wrist) are out. Defenseman Michael Sauer (concussion) is on injured reserve.

Capitals Injuries: Goaltender Tomas Vokoun (groin) is out. Defenseman Tom Poti (groin) is out..

Rangers with Stanley Cup bling: Ruslan Fedotenko, LW; Brad Richards, C; Mike Rupp, C.

Capitals with Stanley Cup bling: Troy Brouwer, RW; Mike Knuble, RW.

Something worthwhile about the Rangers: The Rangers lead the postseason with 155 blocked shots.

Something worthwhile about the Capitals: Prior to the start of the semifinal round, the Capitals were second in the postseason with 139 blocked shots.

Something useless about the Rangers that is vaguely connected to the Penguins Pirates: The Rangers first playoff series win came in a 1928 quarterfinal series against the NHL's Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The Rangers won the series by a goals aggregate of 6-4.

Something useless about the Capitals that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Right winger Dino Ciccarelli holds the Capitals' franchise record for goals in a postseason game. He scored 4 against the Penguins in 7-2 win in Game 4 of a 1992 Patrick Division semfinal series.

Former Penguins on the Rangers: Ruslan Fedotenko, LW; Rick Kehoe, professional scout; Mike Rupp, C; Glen Sather, general manager.

Former Penguins on the Capitals: Jim Johnson, assistant coach..

Who needs to be the difference for the Rangers: Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, etc. The Rangers defense is arguably the best in the NHL. They outlasted the Senators in the first round by blocking and preventing shots. They'll need to do the same.

Who needs to be the difference for the Capitals: Joel Ward, Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich, etc. The Capitals edged the Bruins in the first round thanks to the work of their "pluggers" on the third and fourth lines. They need more contributions from those players.

Best Rangers YouTube Video We Could Find: Rangers coach John Tortorella mixing it up with Capitals fans in Game 5 a 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series:

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Best Capitals YouTube Video We Could Find: Capitals center Sergei Fedorov scoring a game-winning goal in the later stages of Game 7 of that same Eastern Conference quarterfinal series:

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EN Prediction: Both teams collapse around their net and prevent quality scoring chances. And their goaltender prevent the few shots which get through. This will be a close series. We think the Rangers are playing their game a little bit better than the Capitals however. Rangers 4-3.

(Photos: Richards-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Holtby-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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