Rd2 Gm1: Life without Zuccarello begins tonight (WSH v NYR 7:30PM)
The Rangers are rested and ready to go, but they will have to play without top six forward Mats Zuccarello. As per the NY POST, sources state he will miss all of round two and maybe more.
NY will have to get more contributions from Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider if they want to to overcome his loss. A big series from Rick Nash would also be welcomed. However, if the third line can generate offense with Kevin Hayes centering Carl Hagelin and Jesper Fast that will ease pressure up top.
Defensively, I expect Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi to have continued success against Alex Ovechkin. It’s Ovi on the PP we need to worry about, let’s see if the Rangers learned from the Islanders who used a shadow on him in round one.
Finally, as Peter Hassett of RMNB pointed out to me. The Islanders got in trouble when they stopped using their speed and decided to go hit for hit against the Caps. If the Rangers can stick to their speed game they should be fine. Let’s Go!
As for Hartford (AHL) F call-up, Rangers logically waiting until after Wolf Pack’s Game 5. AV says no sense calling guy up to sit in stands.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) April 30, 2015
So nothing new from AM skate: Sheppard, Klein, Yandle in, Hunwick, Summers and Zuccarello out. No callup yet.
— Rangers Report (@rangersreport) April 30, 2015
Vigneault thought Isles “were a real strong four-line team with D’s that activated, and to beat them (Caps) had to be at their best.”
— Peter Botte (@PeterBotte) April 30, 2015