Rangers look for killer instinct in Game 3 against Capitals

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The action shifts to D.C. for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round with the New York Rangers up 2-0 over the Washington Capitals and looking to grab a stranglehold in their best-of-7 series on Friday.

After defeating the Capitals in Game 2 by a 4-3 score, the Blueshirts won both contests at Madison Square Garden to hold serve. However, many believe it isn’t a series until a home team loses, and the Rangers need to prove they have that killer instinct to close this out early.

Unfortunately, the Rangers carry some baggage after blowing their last two playoffs series when up 2-0. In the 2022 Eastern Conference Final they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning (six games), and the same against the New Jersey Devils (seven games) in their first round matchup last season.

“I think there’s a different feel in the locker room,” said Jimmy Vesey, dismissing the notion. “We know what we want to do, how we have to play. We’re a year older and I’d say a little more organized.”

Regardless of what Vesey thinks, the Rangers need to prove they can beat lesser opponents in the playoffs in short order. This is after all a No. 1 seed versus a No. 16 seed scenario. Add this fact to the equation, in the salary cap era that began in 2005-06, only two teams have gone on to win the Stanley Cup after playing seven games in the opening round (2011 Boston Bruins, 2014 Los Angeles Kings).

The Carolina Hurricanes are currently up 3-0 in their best-of-7 series against the New York Islanders, and would love nothing more than to see this series go the distance. It’s up to the Rangers to play their best game yet to dash any hopes the Capitals have they can win it.

Alexander Wennberg did not practice on Thursday because of a maintenance day. In his place centering the third line was Filip Chytil, who will travel with the team to D.C. and could be called upon to fill in after missing 72 regular-season games with an upper-body injury.

Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals (GAME 3)
Date/Time: April 26, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Capital One Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
Series: 2-0 NYR

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Capitals find out what happens when you push around Panarin

New York Rangers projected lineup

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the expected lineup:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Roslovic
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Wennberg – Kakko
Vesey – Goodrow – Rempe

Lindgren – Fox
Gustafsson – Trouba
Miller – Schneider


Note: The Rangers will hold a morning skate at 11:30 A.M. ET. Coach Peter Laviolette will address the media afterwards. Check back here for updates.

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals (Round 1)

1Apr. 21W, 4-1MSGMSG, ESPN
2Apr. 23W, 4-3MSGMSG, ESPN
3Apr. 267:00 PM ETD.C.MSG, TNT
4Apr. 288:00 PM ETD.C.MSG, TBS
5May 1TBDMSGTBD (If Needed)
6May 3TBDD.C.TBD (If Needed)
7May 5TBDMSGTBD (If Needed)
New York Rangers vs Capitals, Schedule

Rangers leading playoff scorers:

Goals – Rempe (1), Panarin (1), Vesey (1), Kreider (1), Trocheck (1), Zibanejad (1), Roslovic (1), Miller (1)
Assists – Lafreniere (3)
Points – Lafreniere (3), Zibanejad (3), Trocheck (3)

Rangers playoff goalie stats:

Igor Shesterkin: 2-0, 2.00 GAA, .913 SV%


This is the 10th time the Rangers have played the Capitals in the playoffs, holding a 5-4 series edge.

The Rangers three playoffs goals in 2:06 in Game 1 against the Capitals was the third-fastest in franchise history. In the 1986 Division Semifinals, they notched three in 0:38 against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3. 

Rempe became the first Rangers’ player to score a goal in his NHL Playoffs debut since defenseman Matt Gilroy scored in Game 1 of the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals against the Capitals.

The Rangers are one of three playoff teams that have at least eight different goal scorers.

Upcoming Rangers Milestones

  • Chris Kreider needs 1 point to tie Rod Gilbert (67) for third in Rangers’ playoff scoring history

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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