The Washington Capitals lead their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers 3-2 heading into Game 6 this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Tom Wilson made his NHL debut in Game 5, becoming the first Capitals teenager (19) to make his NHL debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Wilson became just the fifth Caps teenager to play a game in the playoffs and just the fourth Capital to make his NHL debut in the playoffs (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau). Capitals general manager George McPhee also made his NHL debut in the playoffs, skating in nine games for the New York Rangers during the 1983 postseason before his rookie season in 1983-84.
Teenagers to play for Washington in postseason:
Bob Carpenter (19) and Scott Stevens (18) in 1983
Kevin Hatcher (18) in 1985
Kevin Hatcher (19) and Yvon Corriveau (18) in 1986
Tom Wilson (19) in 2013
Last five teenagers to make NHL debut in postseason:
Age Date Player Team
19 5/10/13 Wilson, Tom WSH
19 4/21/12 Stone, Mark OTT
18 4/21/96 Iginla, Jarome CGY
18 4/11/89 Brind'Amour, Rod STL
18 4/06/89 Modano, Mike MIN
19 4/10/88 Marois, Daniel TOR
Caps players making NHL debut in playoffs:
Chris Felix 4/10/88
Grant Jennings 4/26/88
Trent Whitfield 4/17/00
Tom Wilson 5/10/13
Must Read/See/Hear Material
WashingtonCaps.com: A Year Later, Caps Look to Turn Tables on Rangers
Monumental Network: Adam Oates 5/11/13 / Alex Ovechkin 5/11/13 / Eric Fehr 5/11/13 / Karl Alzner 5/11/13 / Braden Holtby 5/11/13 / Rinkside Update 5/11/13
Washington Post: Capitals-Rangers Game 6 preview: Expect another fight to the finish /Capitals Insider: Capitals seek strong start at Madison Square Garden in Game 6 / Capitals Insider: Tom Wilson makes a strong first impression with Capitals / Capitals Insider: Capitals’ third line makes most of opportunities in Stanley Cup playoffs / DC Sports Bog: ‘Smokin’ ‘ Al Koken has ties to Capitals and Washington, D.C., sports going back to 1970s / DC Sports Bog: Tom Wilson’s dad enjoys hospitality from Caps fans
Washington Times: With Rangers on brink, Capitals in road state of mind
CSN Washington: ‘Let them weather our storm’
Associated Press: Capitals-Rangers Preview
NBCWashington.com: Capitals Use Combined Effort to Neutralize Rangers’ Rick Nash
Capitals Outsider: Congrats to the Reading Royals – Eastern Conference Champions!Injury Update
F Martin Erat – day-to-day
D Tom Poti – day-to-day
F Brooks Laich – day-to-day
TOP FIVE CAPS FACTS
Sudden death – Mike Ribeiro scored the overtime, game-winning goal in Game 5, his first goal of the postseason and first career playoff goal with Washington. The goal was Ribeiro’s first career playoff game-winner. Game 5 marked the Capitals second overtime victory of the series. Washington is now 22-27 all-time in playoff overtimes, 7-4 vs. the Rangers.
Looking to break through – The Capitals enter Game 6 with an all-time record of 11-11. Washington has gone 7-7 in Game 6’s on the road, 5-5 when leading the series 3-2. The Capitals are 6-4 in their last 10 Game 6’s, 2-0 vs. the Rangers in that span.
Spreading the wealth – Through the first five games of the series, the Capitals have had 11 different goal scorers, the third-most among all playoff teams, trailing just Pittsburgh and Ottawa (12, as of Saturday).
Nomination(s) nod(s) – Alex Ovechkin was nominated as a finalist for both the 2012-13 Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. The Hart Trophy is awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," while the Ted Lindsay Award is presented annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA. The 27-year-old Moscow native is a two-time Hart Trophy winner (2007-08, 2008-09) and also was a finalist for the award in 2009-10. In 2009 Ovechkin became the first player in more than a decade to win consecutive Hart Trophies (Dominik Hasek, 1997-98) and the first non-goaltender to do so since Wayne Gretzky won eight in a row (1980-87). He became the third youngest player to win consecutive Hart Trophies, trailing only Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Ovechkin is vying for his fourth “Most Outstanding Player” award. He previously received the players’ award in three consecutive seasons (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10), and he was also a finalist in 2005-06.
Ward in the clutch – Joel Ward scored his first goal of the playoffs in Game 5, the 11th playoff goal of his career, extending his point streak to three games (1g-3a). He ranks tied for first on the team in assists and points. Ward has scored 0.15 goals per game and 0.39 points per game in his career during the regular season. During his postseason career Ward has compiled 0.29 goals per game and 0.70 points per contest.