Jay Beagles availability for Saturday nights Game 7 is being cloaked in a veil of secrecy, much like his availability for Game 6.
Beagle missed his first game of the playoffs Wednesday night with what is believed to be a leg injury sustained when he blocked a shot by Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman in the second period of Game 5 in New York.
Beagle was driven in a utility cart from the players entrance of the Verizon Center to the locker room doors and, according to teammates, tried suiting up for Wednesday nights game before being convinced otherwise.
The Capitals regulars did not skate on Thursday and coach Dale Hunter said his checking line center is day-to-day with his undisclosed injury. Jeff Halpern replaced Beagle in the lineup for Game 6, playing his first game since March 23, a span of 19 games.
Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer said Beagles loss could be a significant one for the Caps. He ranks fifth among forwards with 18:25 of average ice time.
Hes been big for us, Brouwer said. Hes been great on the penalty kill; hes our only right-handed centerman and hes taken a lot of draws and done real well in that aspect. He does a great job out there, he kind of gets overlooked on this team, but he deserves a lot of credit for how hes played so far in the playoffs.
Brouwer said because Beagle is such a warrior, his injury must be serious for him to stay out of the lineup.
You hate to see a guy like him go down and if a guy like him is hurting, hes feeling it, Brouwer said.
Game Seven history: In their history the Capitals are 3-7 all-time in Game 7s and 1-1 on the road, including a Game 7 overtime victory in Boston in Round 1. The Rangers are 4-5 all-time in Game 7s and 4-0 at the Garden, including their Game 7 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Round 1.
Scoring first: The team that has scored first has won every game in this series. The Caps are 7-1 in the playoffs when scoring first. Of the Capitals 13 playoff games, 12 have been decided by one goal and six have been decided in overtime. The Capitals are 4-0 following overtime losses during the playoffs. They are also 6-3 when getting outshot by an opponent. They were outshot 31-23 in Game 6 and blocked an additional 24 shots by the Rangers. New York had just six blocked shots. The Caps were also outhit 37-33.
Chimmer: Jason Chimera scored his seventh career playoff goal, five of which have come against the Rangers. Four of his seven career playoff goals have been game-winners (three against New York). Chimera now has six points in 11 career playoff games against the Rangers.
Ovie: Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th career playoff goal, tying him for first place all-time in Capitals history with Peter Bondra. Only four players in the NHL have scored more playoff goals than Ovechkin since his first playoff season in 2008.
Nick at Nite: Nicklas Backstrom added an assist on Ovechkins power-play goal and an assist on Chimeras goal, giving him three points in his last three games. Backstrom has collected 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists) in 18 career playoff games vs. the Rangers.