The Rangers are hurting offensively, and Alex Ovechkin has already caused enough pain in New York.
New York (25-25-7), loser of two of three on its West Coast swing and six of seven overall, returns to Madison Square Garden at 7 tonight to face the Capitals (38-12-6), who've won a franchise-record 11 straight and lead the Eastern Conference with 82 points.
The last time the Capitals were in New York, on Jan. 26, they took down the Islanders 5-2. A stray Ovechkin snapshot connected with Jack Hillen's face, putting him out six to eight weeks with a broken jaw.
Olli Jokinen, acquired by the Rangers Monday, may not be on the top line tonight after their offense again sputtered Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to the Kings in Los Angeles. As Steve Zipay reported earlier, Jokinen skated between Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan this morning. John Tortorella wouldn't say where Jokinen would start.
It could be a feeling-out process: do you get Jokinen off the top line to get him more scoring opportunities? Tortorella, something of a mad scientist, could also be playing the match-ups. At this point, why not?
The Rangers are averaging 2.49 goals per game — tying them with Montreal for third fewest in the NHL. The Rangers haven't scored a power-play goal in seven straight, the worst stretch they've been through in a decade.
That brings us back to Ovechkin. He's second in the league with 77 points, one behind Henrik Sedin. His third-period, empty-netter Tuesday gave the Caps their third goal in the period and a 4-1 record-setting victory over Boston. Ovechkin has 21 points since the win streak began.
Evan Drellich here to take you through the game.