Capitals right wing Jason Chimera has a message to the NHL referees assigned to the first-round playoff opener against the New York Rangers:
“I’m a big fan of putting the whistle away,” Chimera told CSNWashington.com, “and let us go do out stuff.”
Game 1 of the Caps’ first-round series is being officiated by referees Chris Rooney and Steve Kozari.
The Rangers enter the playoffs as the least penalized team in hockey at 9.2 minutes per game. The Caps rank ninth at 10.8 minutes.
Chimera was asked if referees will call playoff games the same way they did in the regular season, when a hand went up nearly every time a player fell to the ice.
“I hope not,” Chimers said. “Hopefully, they let more stuff go. That’s the playoff hockey people want to see -- the battles in front of the net. That’s what gets you in the game. If they’re going to call all those [stick fouls] it’s going to be a bad series.”
The Caps owned the NHL’s most lethal power play during the regular season, scoring on better than one of every four power plays. So it would make sense they would like to goad the Rangers into taking penalties.
That’s not likely to happen. Their two leaders in penalty minutes, Ryan Clowe and Brian Boyle, are sidelined for the start of the series, leaving Darroll Powe [27 minutes] ansd Rick Nash  as their two penalty leaders.
Chimera, who finished third on the Caps with 48 penalty minutes, is just fine with 5-on-5 hockey.
“We don’t want it to be a power-play talent show,” he said. “I want that 5-on-5 hockey where a guy gives you a slash and you give it right back to him and the refs don’t call it. Some of these stick fouls get ridiculous sometimes. I think if they let us play it’ll be a great series.”
Here are the projected lineups for the two teams entering Game 1:
Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin
Martin Erat-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera-Mathieu Perreault-Eric Fehr
Matt Hendricks-Jay Beagle-Joel Ward
Karl Alzner-Mike Green,
John Erskine-John Carlson
Jack Hillen-Steve Oleksy
Braden Holtby-Michal Neuvirth
Scratches: F Brooks Laich [sports hernia], F Aaron Volpatti, F Wojtek Wolski, D Tom Poti, D Jeff Schultz.
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Mats Zuccarello-Brad Richards-Rick Nash
Taylor Pyatt-Derick Brassard-Chris Kreider
Darroll Powe-Kris Newbury-Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
John Moore-Steve Eminger
Henrik Lundqvist.-Marty Biron
Scratches: F Brian Boyle [leg, skating], F Ryan Clowe [leg], F Derek Dorsett [broken clavicle, skating], D Marc Staal [eye, skating].