New York Rangers Sweep Washington Capitals, Await Second Round Opponent

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(Photo : (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)) WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 28: Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period in Game Four of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 28, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers had no trouble with the Washington Capitals, and they became the first team to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs thanks to their sweep. 

Thanks to their world-beating special teams, the Rangers were able to overwhelm the Capitals with their power play while using their penalty kill to stifle Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals’ hot-and-cold power play.

New York’s five-on-five play continues to leave something to be desired, but Igor Shesterkin’s solid play in net makes that weak point not even matter more often than not.

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New York Rangers Await Second Round Matchup

Now, the Blueshirts can turn their attention to their upcoming second round matchup, which will come against the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.

The Hurricanes entered that series as a favorite and currently hold a 3-1 lead, so it will likely be them, but both opponents would make for very exciting matchups for New York.

Should it be Carolina, it would be the realization of what was a massive collision course all year between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, who battled it out to the very last weekend of the regular season for the Presidents’ Trophy.

That series would be a rematch of the 2022 second round, when the Rangers won a very tight seven-game series in this burgeoning rivalry.

If it’s the Islanders somehow coming back against Carolina, it would be a rivalry that needs no burgeoning at all for the Rangers. The battle of New York features two teams that absolutely can’t stand each other, and that fire was stoked at this year’s Stadium Series when the Rangers stunned the Isles with a late comeback. 

The Rangers would be considerable favorites in that series as well, but the Islanders are better suited to upset the Rangers than they are the Hurricanes.

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