NEW YORK - News, notes and quotes as the Capitals and Rangers tee it up for Game 1 of their second-round playoff series tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden:
Marty for Zuc: With Rangers top-line right wing Mats Zuccarello reportedly out for the entire second round with a head injury, 39-year-old veteran Marty St. Louis will take his place on a top line with Rick Nash and Derrick Brassard.
St. Louis had 21 goals in the regular season but was held to just one assist against the Penguins in the first round. In 93 career playoff games he has 41 goals and 43 assists for 84 points.
St. Louis has terrorized the Caps in his 16-year career with 31 goals and 53 assists for 84 points in 77 career games against Washington.
“You can plug him anywhere in the lineup the way he competes,” said caps defenseman Brooks Orpik, who will be playing in his 100th career playoff game tonight. “He’s always kind of had a chip on his shoulder. I remember when he was in [University of] Vermont, people said he was too small to play in college and he still has a little bit of that left in him, proving people wrong.”
St. Louis, who is generously listed at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, said he’s looking forward to facing Orpik, who is 6-foot-2, 219. Well, sort of.
“He’s got experience, he’s a physical player, good stick,” St. Louis. “He’s a guy that defends well.”
No rest for weary: The Capitals will be playing in their eighth game in 17 days, while the Rangers will be playing for the first time in six days. Will it make a difference?
“We earned that rest and it let some guys get back to where they need to be,” St. Louis said.
One of those players is smooth skating defenseman Kevin Klein, who has not played since an Alex Ovechkin slapshot broke his left arm on March 11.
“We’re pretty antsy,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “You’re watching these series go six or seven games and you’re watching the intensity. We’re happy the game is finally here.”
Friendly foes: Capitals right wing Tom Wilson and Rangers right wing J.T. Miller were linemates together with the OHL Plymouth Whalers in 2011-12. Miller was taken by the Rangers with the 15th pick overall in the 2011 NHL draft. Wilson was taken by the Caps with the 16th overall pick one year later.
Miller said he remains good friends with Wilson and took exception to Wilson being labeled a dirty player.
“No, he plays a physical game, he plays hard,” Miller said. “When he gets a chance to be on the ice he’s trying to make his presence known. He likes to lay the big hits, but he’s a good player and I don’t expect him to slow down at all.”
Big bang theory: After the Caps and Isles combined for 630 hits in Round 1 it is highly unlikely this series ramps up to that same kind of physicality. The Rangers delivered 172 hits in their five-game series against the Penguins, while the Caps dished out 313 body blows.
“We’ve got a big group of forwards and you ask our D, if they get the puck and get hit all the time they’re going to get worn out,” said right wing Jason Chimera, whose 21 hits rank fourth on the Caps behind Orpik , Alex Ovechkin  and Wilson . “Look at [Islanders defensemen Nick] Leddy and [Johnny] Boychuk. They weren’t jumping up in the rush because they were so tired of getting hit. You want to impose your will on guys like that and you want to hit some of their better players like [defensemen Keith] Yandle and [Dan] Girardi and [Ryan] McDonagh.”
Fehr update: Caps center Eric Fehr, knocked out of Game 3 against the Islanders with an upper body check suffered on a check by Kyle Okposo, skated on his own Thursday and Caps coach Barry Trotz said he's "very close" to returning to the lineup.
MORE CAPITALS: Trotz compares Ovechkin to Rangers great
Here are projected lineups for Game 1:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Joel Ward
Marcus Johnasson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Jason Chimera
Andre Burakovsky – Jay Beagle – Troy Brouwer
Curtis Glencross – Brooks Laich – Tom Wilson
Brooks Orpik – John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Tim Gleason – Mike Green
Braden Holtby – Justin Peters
Scratches: C Michael Latta, D Dmitry Orlov
Injuries: Eric Fehr [upper body, day-to-day]
Rick Nash – Derrick Brassard – Marty St. Louis
Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – J.T. Miller
Carl Hagelin – Kevin Hayes – Jesper Fast
James Sheppard – Dominic Moore – Tanner Glass
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Dan Boyle
Keith Yandle – Kevin Klein
Henrik Lundqvist – Cam Talbot
Scratches: D Matt Hunwick, D Chris Summers
Injuries: RW Mats Zuccarello [head, indefinite]