What will Kevin Shattenkirk do for the Caps in his first appearance with his new team (CSN+, 7 p.m.)? Here are three bold predictions for the Caps' game against the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
1. Shattenkirk will record at least one point
No, this is not me being a prisoner of the moment or jumping on the hype train. Shattenkirk was a midseason trade in 2011 when he was traded from Colorado to St. Louis in his rookie season. He made the transition appear relatively seamless with an assist in his first game with the Blues. He would close out that season with 17 points in 26 games for St. Louis. He will likely find himself on the third pair Tuesday in New York, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get on the scoresheet.
2. Washington will outshoot the Rangers in the first period
The last time these two teams met, it was the second game of a back-to-back with a start time less than 23 hours after the first leg's game in Detroit. The Caps were also coming out of the bye week. The first period of that game was perhaps the worst period of hockey the Caps have played all season. That will be on their mind when they take the ice Tuesday and they will look to start strong right out of the gate.
3. Shattenkirk will finish with a minus-rating
The Rangers are a very hot team that has won nine of their last 12 games. They use a lot of speed and push the attack with quick transitions to force odd-man breaks. Shattenkirk is a good player, but he is also playing his first game with a new team against a tough opponent with a new partner in Nate Schmidt. I expect them to get burned at some point. Bonus point to me if it happens because both players get caught trying to jump into the offensive play. It's hard to know what your partner is thinking if you've never played with them before.
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