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Rangers-Caps, Game 4: 5 things to watch for

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 and Brian Boyle #22

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 and Brian Boyle #22 of the New York Rangers celebrate after the Rangers won 3-2 against the Washington Capitals in Game 3. (April 17, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

1. Crowd reaction 

The MSG crowd will boo the Caps heartily at every turn, now that Bruce Boudreau has pronounced the Verizon Center crowd louder. It likely won't affect either team's play, but it should be fun for a little while at least, especially if the Rangers get on the board first.

2. Discipline

The Caps took eight minors on Sunday in Game 3 and were guilty of being outworked at times; in this kind of low-scoring series, that can't happen. Even if the Rangers power play still looks lost, the Caps pinned some of their best forwards to the bench due to all the PK time and disrupted their rhythm.

3. Shots, bumps and whatever else on Neuvirth

The combination of 35 Rangers shots plus a few extra pokes from Brandon Prust and Sean Avery seemed to crack Michal Neuvirth's confidence just a tiny bit. That means the Rangers will redouble their efforts right in front of the Caps net.

4. Puck possession, especially against Ovechkin

The Rangers had Alex Ovechkin on his heels in Game 3 because the Rangers forwards opposite No. 8 had the puck more; Brandon Dubinsky's game-winner came from a simple one-on-one battle won in the corner, then a bull-rush to the net. If Ovechkin can be kept on the defensive again, the Rangers will have a big advantage.

5. No Knuble, but Caps are still dangerous

Jason Chimera will start in Knuble's place on Washington's top line, but the Caps' pluggers like Chimera, Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley are fairly interchangeable -- and all have the skill to produce hard-working goals like the one Chimera scored in Game 2. Knuble is a big loss, especially on the PP, but the Rangers cannot let up.


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