W2W4: Quick Turnaround As Rangers Host Capitals At The Garden

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Players To Watch


Rangers-Justin Falk: Back in the Rangers lineup Saturday, Falk was an angry, physical presence. In another words, he was exactly what Alain Vigneault needed on the backline. And more and more Falk is playing a bruising physical style, while playing confidently and smart in his own end of the ice. Falk is showing much more confidence, which in part comes with more regular playing time. He has now played in five of the past six games, and eight of the last 12. His ice time has gone up, with a season-high of 17:43 two Saturdays ago against the Canucks, and just under 14 minutes of ice time yesterday against the Devils. Falk also picked up his first point as a Ranger---in his 11th game---on Saturday when he assisted on Brad Richards' game-opening goal. Should Marc Staal not be able to play against the Caps on Sunday, Falk and all of the other defensemen on the team will need to significantly raise their level of play.

Capitals-Alex Ovehckin: Plain and simple Ovechkin is a goal-scoring machine. After once again leading the NHL with 32 goals (in a truncated 48-game schedule) last year, Ovechkin is tops again with 22 in 27 games this season. He is a three-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner and three-time Hart Trophy winner as league MVP after winning both awards last season, and he loves playing on the big stage at Madison Square Garden. However the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist have largely held Ovechkin in check over recent years---especially the last two playoff series---and they will hope to do so again on Sunday. Another stat to be aware of with Ovechkin this season: he owns a minus-ten plus/minus rating, which partially offsets his offensive brilliance.