The Caps kick off a 3-game road trip tonight at Madison Square Garden, facing the New York Rangers. The Rangers are anxious to turn around their current 5-game losing streak. Their most recent defeat came at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, who dealt the Rangers a 3-0 shutout. The Rangers are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and each game is critical at this point since each team in 4th-7th holds only a one point lead over the next team. The 8th place team is only two points back. Every win or loss moves these teams around in the standings, offering the possibility for losing a playoff berth.
The Caps have won all three games they've played against the Rangers this season. If they win tonight in regulation, it would be the first time the Caps have ever taken all available points from their matchups with Rangers for a season.
Wingers Alexander Semin and Viktor Kozlov are both questionable for tonight's game, so the Caps have called up Hershey Bear Jay Beagle in case both have to sit the game out. Look for Jose' Theodore to start in net, backed by Michal Neuvirth. Backup goalie Brent Johnson had surgery to repair a hip injury yesterday; no word yet on the extent of his procedure or expected recovery.
Game time is 7:00 p.m.