Apr 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto (4) shoots on the Buffalo Sabres net during the first period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals

It’s finally here, playoff time! First of I’d like to congratulate the 16 teams in the playoffs. This is a preview of the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals series. Washington finished the season with an 11-1-1 record through April. The Rangers finished April with an also impressive 1-3-1 record. This is the fourth time in five years that these two teams have met in the post-season.

Washington Capitals: The Capitals started the season terribly, sitting in dead last. They had started so bad, but then they picked up their game. After going from 30th

Apr 20, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his second goal of the night against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) (not pictured) with teammates forward Troy Brouwer (20) and Mike Ribeiro (9) and Nicklas Backstrom (19) and Mike Green (52) and Troy Brouwer (20)during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

to 3rd in just a few months, many have pointed to a few players. Obviously, the biggest one is Alex Ovechkin. Ovi has had impressive numbers, with 32 goals and 56 points. Another person who should have a great series is Mike Ribiero. He has contributed 49 points this season to Washington. Mike Green has had an impressive year with 12 goals and 14 assists, which helped the Capitals move in the standings. The Ovechkin-Green pairing has been phenomenal this season. Braden Holtby is expected to start in net, and he has had a good season. He went 23-12-1, and had four shutouts. Former Predator Martin Erat is expected to produce this post-season.

New York Rangers: The Rangers have been playing  very well, especially with Henrik Lundqvist in net. King Hank has a record of 24-16-3 with two shutouts. Big players in New York who should make a splash in the pond are Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, and Michael Del Zotto. Nash and Brassard, being former Blue Jackets, are just getting ready to get a taste for the playoffs, something they haven’t seen since 2008 when they were swept in the first round by Detroit. Del Zotto has contributed 21 points from the blue line this season, and looks to improve his playoff stats. Last year Kreider made a splash in the playoffs with five goals and two assists in 18 games. He played rather well for his first NHL playoffs. He’s only played 23 games this season, and only has three points.

Analysis: These two teams are very well prepared for this series. It’s going to be a tough one, but I think the younger goaltender, Holtby, is going to come out on top. I take the Capitals winning this series in 7 games. What about you? Who is going to win this series? Who is going to be the hero of the series? You can comment below or Tweet me @NardoneDylan.

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Tags: FanSided New York Rangers NHL Washington Capitals

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