Stage is set: Rangers visit Caps on Thursday

Stage is set: Rangers visit Caps on Thursday
April 28, 2013, 11:15 pm
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It’s official. The Capitals will open the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday night at Verizon Center against the New York Rangers.

The NHL released its first-round playoff schedule Sunday night and the third-seeded Caps and sixth-seeded Rangers will follow this schedule:

Game 1

Thursday, Rangers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m., CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN

Game 2

Saturday, Rangers at Capitals, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN

Game 3

Monday, May 6, Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m., CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN

Game 4

Wednesday, May 8, Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m., CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN

Game 5 (If necessary) 

Friday, May 10, Rangers at Capitals, 7:30 p.m., CSN, TSN

Game 6 (If necessary) 

Sunday, May 12, Capitals at Rangers, TBD

Game 7 (If necessary) 

Monday, May 13, Rangers at Capitals, TBD

The Caps will practice Monday at 11 a.m. Joel Ward [left knee contusion] is expected to be on the ice. The forward lines and defense pairs are expected to look like this:

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin

Marty Erat-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera-Mathieu Perreault-Eric Fehr

Jay Beagle-Matt Hendricks-Joel Ward

Aaron Volpatti-Wojtek Wolski

Karl Alzner-Mike Green

John Erskine-John Carlson

Jack Hillen-Steve Oleksy

Jeff Schultz-Tom Poti


Braden Hotby-Michal Neuvirth


Injuries: F Brooks Laich [groin, 2-4 weeks]

First power-play unit: Ribeiro, Backstrom, Brouwer,Green, Ovechkin.

Second power-play unit: Erat, Johansson, Fehr, Alzner, Carlson.

Here’s how the Rangers’ forward lines and defense pairings shape up:

Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan

Mats Zuccarello-Brad Richards-Rick Nash

Taylor Pyatt -Derick Brassard-Chris Kreider

Kris Newbury-Darroll Powe-Arron Asham


Michael Del Zotto-Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh-Anton Stralman

Steve Eminger-John Moore


Henrik Lundqvist-Martin Biron


Injuries: F Ryan Clowe [right leg, day-to-day]; F Brian Boyle [right knee, day-to-day]; F Derek Dorsett [broken clavicle, day-to-day], D Marc Staal [right eye, day-to-day].


First power-play unit: Zuccarello, Stepan, Callahan, Nash, Richards

Second power-play unit: Pyatt, Brassard, Hagelin Del Zotto, Girardi