The New York Rangers can build off their recent scoring onslaught when they face the Washington Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center in Game Five of their first round playoff series.
New York knotted the series at two games a apiece with their 4-3 Game Four victory Wednesday, but nearly let a two goal lead slip away.
Offense has come from all over the Rangers lineup, with goals by Dan Girardi, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan, and Carl Hagelin in Game Four. The left winger Hagelin leads New York with two goals this post season. Before Game Three's 4-3 win, New York had scored one goal in the previous two games.
As Rangers head coach Jon Tortorella opened up the offense, the defense has taken a bit of dive. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has allowed six goals in the last two games, upping his goals allowed average to 2.44 and save percentage to 92.2 in these playoffs.
New York has turned around its attack despite the second worst power-play percentage amongst all playoff teams, with two power-play goals.
What’s more surprising than New York’s lack of power-play success, is Washington’s recent affinity to step up with a man down.
The Capitals were 27th in the NHL on the penalty kill, but have turned things around, and are now second in the playoffs at 88.2 percent.
A large chunk of the credit goes to defender Mike Green, who leads Washington with four points and two goals, and has relentlessly worked both sides of the ice.
Regular-season points leader Alex Ovechkin has been the focus of the Rangers defense, but he’s still gotten off a Capitals-high 15 shots on goal, with one goal and one assist.
Washington will be without the services of right winger Martin Erat, who suffered a wrist or forearm injury during Game 4.
New York has several players listed as day-to-day, including defensemen Marc Staal, who did not participate in workouts Thursday. Staal reportedly pulled himself out of Game Four due to issues with this vision, and has done the same for Game 5.
Right winger Darroll Powe was pulled from the Game Four lineup due to an undisclosed injury, but his status has not been updated since.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and will be broadcast nationally by NBC Sports, and you can watch their live online stream on NBC Sports Live Extra here.
Predicted Score: New York 2, Washington 1