Rangers Open Playoffs Against a Familiar Opponent

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the dust settled last night, the Eastern Conference Wild Card #2 spot was finalized, with the Washington Capitals clinching the last playoff position with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The New York Rangers will likely open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The team was still awaiting their official playoff schedule, but with the NBA announcing that the New York Knicks would begin their playoffs at MSG on Saturday, Sunday afternoon is a safe bet for when the President’s Trophy-winning Blueshirts would start the first round.

The Capitals unusually won their game, scoring an empty-net goal with the game tied at one. The Flyers needed to win in regulation time to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the Cap’s T.J. Oshie ended that hope when he scored with three minutes remaining in the game.

In the larger scope of things, the Flyers were eliminated from the playoffs before the desperate move when the Detroit Red Wings scored the tying goal against the Montreal Canadiens with 3.3 seconds remaining in the game. Detroit needed a regulation loss to help the Flyers out.

Rangers Familiar Foe

The Rangers will play the Capitals for the first time since 2015. This will be the 10th time the two teams have met in playoff action, with the Blueshrts winning five of the previous nine series.

The teams split their four games this season, each winning in their own buildings.

This best-of-seven series has some interesting backstories.

  • Ryan Lindgren will compete against his goaltender brother Charlie.
  • The Rangers need to shut down the always-dangerous Alex Ovechkin, who notched his 31st goal in last night’s win.
  • The Tom Wilson factor will be a significant factor to deal with. Will fan favorite Matt Rempe be called upon to even things up?
  • Will Artemi Panarin’s incredible regular season continue in the playoffs?
  • Is this Igor Shesterkin’s year to carry his team to the Stanley Cup?

There’s plenty of time to break this series down. One thing is certain, the Capitals and every other playoff team will be gunning for this Rangers team. The target on their back is huge, but this team has survived every challenge thrown their way.

The road to 16 wins starts Sunday against he Capitals. Let the fun begin.

Follow Frank on X at @RangerProud

ECF Game 1 Recap : Flukes & Lacking Production Ranting Rangers: A New York Rangers Podcast

In this playoff episode we recap the Rangers loss in Game 1 of the ECF.For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
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