Head coach David Quinn will make his return to the Rangers bench as the Rangers travel to Washington for their second game in under 24 hours (12:00 P.M. ET, NBC).

RangersEast Division Ranks /8Capitals
6th  East Ranking5th

               David Quinn will make his return to the bench after missing six-games from being in the COVID Protocol. Hartford Wolfpack head coach Kris Knoblauch served as the acting head coach in Quinn’s absence and he led the Rangers to a record of 4-2-0. The Blueshirts outscored the oppositions 27-11 under Knoblauch. Knoblauch will remain on the bench as an assistant coach for Sunday’s game as assistant David Oliver has not yet cleared the protocol.

               Igor Shesterkin made his return from injury under Knoblauch and he kept his play at a high-level. Shesterkin’s play in recent months has made it clear that he is the number one netminder and needs to be getting the majority of the starts. The 25-year-old stopped 75 shots on 81 shots in his two starts since returning from a groin injury. Shesterkin will serve as the backup goalie on Sunday afternoon.

               Keith Kinkaid will get the start over Alex Georgiev for the Rangers. Kinkaid has made the most of his opportunity going 3-1-1 in five starts in Shesterkin’s absence. Kinkaid has appeared in seven games and holds a goals against average of 2.22 and he has a .908 save percentage this season.

               Ilya Samsonov will get the start for the Capitals. Samsonov is 0-2-0 in his career against the Rangers. Samsonov is 7-1-1 this season with a 2.22 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Samsonov’s only defeat in regulation this season was against the Rangers.

               While the Rangers will play their second game in 24 hours, the Capitals had Saturday off and they have not had to travel since an away game on March 15th. The Capitals will be the “fresher” of the two teams. The man to watch on Washington is the great Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has at least one goal in seven of the past eight games. The only time he didn’t score was in a defeat to the Rangers on March 20th, which snapped the Capitals seven-game winning streak. That was the only defeat suffered by Washington in their last ten games.  

               Following the conclusion of Saturday afternoon’s game – the Rangers traded away Brendan Lemieux to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a fourth-round pick. This trade seems slightly odd where it makes sense for both sides to keep or trade him. Lemieux is 25-years-old and is a gritty player who will stand up for his teammates and contribute a few goals. He is a player that makes your team tougher to play against.

               The argument for trading Lemieux goes deeper than one might initially expect. One of Lemieux’s criticisms has been that he takes some bad penalties. Lemieux is often a target of the officials due to his reputation on the ice. In addition, trading away the winger will open up an immediate lineup spot for Vitaly Kravtsov who is close to his debut. Kravtsov won’t play Sunday afternoon but will be poised to make it during the upcoming week. Kravtsov has only had one full practice with the team. The last thing trading Lemieux does besides clearing cap space is that he will not be lost to Seattle in the expansion draft for nothing. Lemieux was likely to have been left exposed and in danger of being lost for nothing.  

               Phil Di Giuseppe will return to the lineup after being on the COVID protocol list. Di Giuseppe will take Lemieux’s spot on the fourth line.

Projected Lineup




Di Giuseppe-Rooney-Blackwell