The Rangers went into Monday one point away from elimination from playoff contention, so the fact they were eliminated with their 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Garden was not a surprise.
"Just another level of disappointment really,’’ coach David Quinn said when asked to describe his emotions after it all became official. "We just didn't get enough done this year. We had some great moments, great stretches. But it just wasn't enough.’’
"The odds of us making it after two games against the Islanders weren't big -- for sure not in our favor,’’ Mika Zibanejad said. "And you have some guys gone as well [Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren did not play] and you're just trying to battle through it and try to do the best we see how far that takes you in a situation like that.’’
Caps were depleted
Because of injuries, discipline, personal and salary cap issues, Washington dressed 17 skaters for the game. Halfway though the first period, they were down to 16.
Goalie Ilya Samsonov and forward Evgeny Kuznetsov were held out of the lineup for disciplinary reasons, and forward T. J. Oshie out for personal reasons. Alex Ovechkin, who had missed four games with a lower body injury, and defenseman John Carlson, who had missed two games with a lower body injury, were able to dress. But Ovechkin played just one shift, for 39 seconds, before he had to leave.
D Justin Schultz was a no-go with a lower body injury, and with Washington not having enough salary cap space to call up someone from the taxi squad or the minor leagues, the Caps started with 11 forwards and six defensemen. When Ovechkin left, they went down to 10 forwards.
Trouba missed his seventh game with an upper body injury, Kreider missed his third game with a lower body injury, and Lindgren missed his second game with an upper body injury… Igor Shesterkin started in goal for the Rangers, his 17th start in the past 22 games… Phillip DiGiuseppe and D Anthony Bitetto were the Rangers’ healthy scratches… Monday was Pride Night at the Garden.