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NHL on NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry: Rangers host Capitals

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: Madison Bowey #22 of the Washington Capitals and Paul Carey #28 of the New York Rangers battle for the puck during the third period at Capital One Arena on December 08, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Washington Capitals won, 4-2. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with Wednesday Night Rivalry as the New York Rangers play host to the Washington Capitals at 8 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here.

The NHL’s Christmas break is over and now we begin the quick one month sprint until the next break for all 31 teams -- the All-Star Game in Tampa in late January.

Teams will begin having their bye weeks in January, so there will be plenty of rest time for players over the next month, which is good because bad hockey is baaaaad, while good hockey can be oh so good.

The Capitals and Rangers resume action on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden separated by four points in the crazy Metropolitan Division. Points are always important, but especially so after Christmas and even moreso in that division this season when a win could help you jump from out of the playoffs into a postseason spot.

Just look at this and realize that the last-place Philadelphia Flyers would be fourth in the Atlantic right now:

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 11.50.16 AM

It’s going to be real interesting to see how that division shakes out with a potential five teams getting into the dance in April. It will also be fun to watch the Metro’s general managers wheel and deal before the Feb. 26 trade deadline should they feel they need to add in order to secure or maintain playoff position.

It’ll likely be a battle of the backups tonight as Philipp Grubauer vs. Ondrej Pavelec are expected to start.

After the game be sure to stick around on NBCSN for the third episode of Rangers-Sabres “Road to the Winter Classic” at 11:30 p.m. ET.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.