Caps vs. Rangers: News and notes

Caps vs. Rangers: News and notes
April 28, 2012, 8:54 pm
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News and notes from Saturdays series opening game between the Caps and Rangers at Madison Square Garden:

No Doobie, Boyle for Rangers: Rangers forwards Brian Boyle (concussion) and Brandon Dubinsky (leg injury) did not dress for the Rangers, forcing coach John Tortorella to go with enforcer Mike Rupp and defenseman Steve Eminger as his 11th and 12th forwards.

Line Matchups: The Caps went started the game with a top line of Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera, followed by Nicklas Backstrom between Marcus Johansson and Alex Semin; Jay Beagle between Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouewer; and Keith Aucoin between Mike Knuble and Joel Ward.

The Rangers countered with Brad Richards between Carl Hagelin and Marian Gaborik; Derek Stepan between Chris Kreider and Ryan Callahan; Artem Anisimov between Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Prust; and John Mitchell between Rupp and Eminger.

Dee pairings: The only change to the Caps defensive pairings was John Erskine replacing Jeff Schultz on a third unit with Dennis Wideman. The top two pairs of Karl Azner with John Carlson and Mike Green with Romasn Hamrlik remained intact.

The Rangers went with a top pairing of Dan Girardi with Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal with Anton Stralman, and Michal Del Zotto with Stu Bickel.

Star power: Among the notable attendees in Saturdays crowd were tennis star John McEnroe, actor Matthew Modine, models Damaris Lewis, Alejandra Cata and Tia Shipman and directorproducer Jason Peitman.