Backstrom and Washington take on New York
New York Rangers (5-7-3, seventh in the East Division) vs. Washington Capitals (8-4-3, third in the East Division)
Washington; Saturday, 12:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington into a matchup with New York. He ranks eighth in the NHL with 20 points, scoring eight goals and recording 12 assists.
The Capitals are 8-4-3 against division opponents. Washington is seventh in the league recording 9.1 points per game, averaging 3.5 goals and 5.7 assists.
The Rangers are 5-7-3 against opponents in the East Division. New York averages 9.9 penalty minutes per game, the seventh-most in the NHL. Chris Kreider leads the team serving 19 total minutes.
In their last meeting on Feb. 4, New York won 4-2. Artemi Panarin recorded a team-high 3 points for the Rangers.
TOP PERFORMERS: Backstrom leads the Capitals with eight goals, adding 12 assists and collecting 20 points. Alex Ovechkin has four goals over the last 10 games for Washington.
Panarin leads the Rangers with 16 points, scoring five goals and adding 11 assists. Pavel Buchnevich has two goals and four assists over the last 10 games for New York.
LAST 10 GAMES: Capitals: 5-4-1, averaging 3.4 goals, 5.8 assists, 3.5 penalties and 7.8 penalty minutes while giving up three goals per game with a .908 save percentage.
Rangers: 4-4-2, averaging 2.2 goals, 3.6 assists, 4.8 penalties and 11.4 penalty minutes while giving up 2.5 goals per game with a .916 save percentage.
INJURIES: Capitals: Michal Kempny: out (lower body).
Rangers: Justin Richards: out (health protocols), K’Andre Miller: day to day (upper body), Filip Chytil: out (upper body), Jacob Trouba: out (thumb).