Caps-Rangers Game 7 pregame notes

Caps-Rangers Game 7 pregame notes
May 12, 2012, 4:21 pm
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Here are some facts and figures for the Capitals and Rangers as they prepare for what promises to be another epic battle tonight at Madison Square Garden:

No Beagle: Caps center Jay Beagle did not skate with the team in its morning skate at MSG and although coach Dale Hunter called it a "game-time decision," it appears Beagle will sit out his second straight game after taking a puck in the leg in Game 5. Jeff Halpern is expected to take his place in the lineup.

Cool rookie: Following a loss in the playoffs, Capitals rookie goaltender Braden Holtby is 6-0 with a 1.24 GAA and .960 save percentage. Including the regular season this year and last, Holtby has gone 29 consecutive starts without suffering back-to-back defeats.

Thisclose: Twelve of the Capitals 13 playoff games have been decided by one goal; 10 of the Rangers 13 have been one-goal games. The Rangers and Caps have been tied or separated by one goal for 90 percent of their series.

Last time around: Joel Ward was the Game 7 hero 16 days ago in Boston when he scored the overtime game-winner. Washington ousted the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round, capturing the first playoff series in NHL history to feature seven one-goal games. Four games were decided in overtime.

Perfect at home: The Rangers are 4-0 all-time in Game 7s at home. They beat their first-round opponent, the Ottawa Senators, on home ice in their first Game 7 at Madison Square Garden since they captured the Stanley Cup in 1994. The Rangers received goals from defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, marking the first time since 1950 that a team won a Game 7 without a forward scoring.

Game 7 history: The Rangers are 4-5 in nine Game 7s in franchise history, including a
4-0 mark at Madison Square Garden. The Capitals are 3-7 in Game 7s,
including their first-ever road victory on April 25 at Boston.

Watch out for Rusty: Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko is a perfect 5-0 in career Game 7s with Tampa, Pittsburgh and New York and has three goals and one assist in those games.

OHL title: Dale Hunter's junior team, the London Knights, won the OHL title Friday night, earning a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.