The New York Rangers have started to improve their play over the past week and with Washington back in town, they will want some revenge.
New York Rangers: (22-14-4, 48 points, 3rd in NHL Metropolitan Division)
Washington Capitals: (30-7-3, 63 points, 1st in NHL Metropolitan Division)
Today, 1:00 PM on MSG, CSN-DC
Madison Square Garden, NY, New York
By Chris Wengert
The New York Rangers will be looking for some revenge today after being embarrassed by the powerhouse Washington Capitals by a score of 7-3 the last time these two teams met.
For the Rangers, this game has the makings of a possible turning point in what has become a lackluster season.
It could also just be another disappointing loss.
The Rangers have won two of their last three games and while the loss to Florida was a let down following a convincing victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it looked different than prior losses.
For the first time in a while, the Rangers were beat by their opponent rather than themselves.
This is encouraging.
Emerging from a slump of this magnitude is a marathon, not a sprint. The Rangers will not fix their problems in just one or two games, as it is very much a “one step forward and two back” process.
And there are a few reasons to be optimistic about the Blueshirts.
Derek Stepan looked fresh and fast against the Dallas Stars after returning from his rib injury. There was certainly a post-injury hangover following Stepan’s return, but it looks like he has fully recovered.
If he continues to play like this, then Rangers have regained a valuable asset:
Jayson Megna was solid in his first game as a New York Ranger. He was quick, showed play-making ability, and even netted a goal.
While all of these attributes are exciting, fans should temper their expectations for the still very green Megna. Rookies almost always experience growing pains, and this process will likely be no different for Megna.
However, if he can consistently add some much needed speed, soft hands, and production to the roster he could be a missing piece the Rangers desperately need.