Rangers Now Need Road Win, Game 5 In DC

Multi-prev_20140725205523 3 of 3 Multi-next_20140725205523
Players To Watch


Rangers-Brian Boyle: Just the other day head coach John Tortorella said that while Boyle may have struggled this past season, he has always elevated his game in the playoffs since playing with the Rangers---and the hulking center has lived up to his coach's words since returning from injury and rejoining the lineup in Game Two of this series. In particular the past two games---not so coincidentally Rangers victories---Boyle has been an imposing presence on the ice, playing a punishing brand of hockey coupled with offensive skill. Plus he has been the team's best faceoff man, winning critical draws with regularity---67 percent in Game Three and 69 percent in Game Four. As such Boyle has been rewarded with much increased ice-time---20:42 in Game Three and a season-high 23:29 in Game Four. On Wednesday Boyle played more than any New York forward, nearly nine minutes more than veteran center Brad Richards, just to show how much confidence Tortorella is showing in him. It is hard to believe this is the same player who found himself a healthy scratch during the regular season. As the Rangers look to wear down the Caps in this series, Boyle will find himself in the role of difference maker in this series.


Capitals-Mathieu Perrault: Who is Mathieu Perrault and why is he tied for the Capitals team lead in playoff scoring? The 25 year-old has stepped up in a big way so far through four games, and with the Rangers shutting down Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Mike Ribeiro, Perrault has played a big role despite logging bottom-six minutes. Perrault scored the first two goals of his NHL post-season career in Game Four at The Garden---a slam dunk to the side of Henrik Lundqvist's cage that started Washington's second period comeback and a deflection off his body in the third period after he won an offensive faceoff and was pushing his way to the net. A 16-goal scorer last season who netted six in 39 games this season, Perrault appeared in only four post-season games a year ago---and none against the Rangers in the second round---without recording a point. Now through hard work and opportunistic moments, he has is tied with Mike Green atop the Caps playoff scoring list.