New York Rangers look to course correct in Washington

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Mar 20, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) skates with the puck as New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) chases in the third period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As GM Chris Drury works on bringing Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers, his team needs to block out the noise and end a three game losing streak (0-2-1).

“It’s tough on some players, but at the end of the day you’re trying to make your team better,” Gerard Gallant admitted on Friday. “It’s going to be over in a week’s time. You’ve just got to focus on playing the games.”

That next game is today against division rivals, the Washington Capitals.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (33-16-9) vs. Washington Capitals (28-26-6)
Date/Time: February 25, 2023 at 1:00 PM ET
Arena: Capital One Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers face Capitals

new york rangers capitals
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Blueshirts are taking on a frustrated Capitals team that has Alex Ovechkin back after attending his father’s funeral in Russia earlier in the week. Although Washington is mired in a six-game losing streak and find themselves two points out of the last wild card spot in the East, the Rangers simply can’t have another bad start.

It began on the road when they went down 4-0 to the Oilers before rallying for an OT win. They fell behind 2-0 less than a minute in against the Flames but salvaged a point. That was followed by a loss against the Jets and Red Wings, where they trailed after the first period in each contest.

“I think we should start better,” Tarasenko said after playing Flames. “It’s nice to win games when you’re coming back, but you should play better at the start. Everybody knows that we can play better.”

Today, the Blueshirts will hope to avoid dropping their third straight in regulation, something they last did back in late November with losses to the Ducks, Oilers, and Devils.

 “We’ve got a couple now that we’ve lost and we’ve got to get back on track,” captain Jacob Trouba acknowledged. “We’ll to do that in a couple of nights (Saturday vs Capitals).”

Jaroslav Halak started the last game against Detroit so that Igor Shesterkin could get in some more practice time. The Rangers top goalie is expected to be in net against the Capitals.

Shesterkin, 27, is 25-9-7 this season with a GAA of 2.59 and a .912 save percentage. These are incredible numbers but obviously are not as good as last year’s Vezina winning campaign.

“I guess he talked [Wednesday] about his confidence being down,” Gallant said. “Everyone goes through parts of the season when you’re not at your best. Am I worried about it? Not one bit. He’s our best player.”

The Rangers may very well be going with 11 forwards and 7 defenseman again versus the Caps as they work to accrue cap space in order to fit Patrick Kane under the cap ceiling before the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline.

Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn were both made unavailable on Thursday for roster management reasons. As we noted in this article on February 20, the team needs to make a move by today (trade/waivers) in order to have enough space for Kane at a total of 75% (need a third party to accomplish).

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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