Apr 7 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Brandon Prust (8) splits Washington Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman (6) and defenseman Mike Green (52) to shoot on goal during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals kick off the Eastern Conference semifinals with Game 1 of their series on Saturday.
The New York Rangers barely escaped a major first round upset with their one-goal victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of their first playoff series. Based on the regular season series between the Blueshirts and the Washington Capitals, the second round isn't going to be much easier for them. The two teams each won two games and lost two in their regular season series.
The Capitals stumbled through most of the regular season before turning it on late in the year to secure a playoff spot, and they've improved further in the playoffs. Young goaltender Braden Holtby has been spectacular in net, and with Henrik Lundqvist on the other end of the ice, he'll need to keep up his stellar play.
No. 7 Washington Capitals at No. 1 New York Rangers
3:30 p.m. ET -- Game 1, Eastern Conference Semifinals | Series tied, 0-0
National TV: NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS