New York has been a popular destination for the Capitals in recent springs and it could be again, depending on the outcome of several games on the last day of the NHL’s regular season Saturday.
While Washington will be aiming to enter the postseason on a roll and possibly capture the Southeast Division title, though they would need help to clinch it, the first-place New York Rangers will also have an agenda of their own.
New York has a chance to capture the Presidents’ Trophy with a win over the Capitals, but it also doesn’t want to enter the postseason having lost two straight.
“We’re just going to play the game, we have a lot of different things going on as far as our readiness for a lot of different teams obviously because it’s not decided,” Coach John Tortorella told reporters in New York Friday. “Absolutely. We want to win that hockey game. It’s our last game before we really get going. I think there is a little bit of incentive there so we want to win that hockey game, including me.”
The Rangers are coming off a 5-2 road loss to Pittsburgh that also saw them lose center Derek Stepan after a knee-on-knee hit by Brooks Orpik. The hit incensed Tortorella and sent him into one of his trademark rants postgame, which you can read more about here and here.
It also appears as though the Rangers will start all-star netminder Henrik Lundqvist, who was given the night off against Pittsburgh with lingering soreness and stiffness in his right forearm, wrist and hand. Lundqvist told reporters in New York he wanted to play again before the postseason began, so he’s looking for a tune-up.
“I think it would be good for me to get one more start,” Lundqvist said following a practice in New York. “It’s almost a week until the next game.”