Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist sees Capitals as a mirror image of the Rangers

After finishing off the Ottawa Senators in Game 7, New York Rangers superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist said their second round opponents, the Washington Capitals, remind him a lot of his own team.

“They’re a little bit like this team,” Lundqvist said.  “Their top guys are really talented. They make some big plays out of nothing. We have to be ready.”

As for how to prepare for a more defensive Caps team, Lundqvist says the routine doesn’t change much for him. The Caps, like the Rangers, block shots rather than pump them in on goal, but that matters not for the Vezina finalist.

“I don’t know, honestly, how much is going to change game-wise. For me personally it doesn’t really change. I’m gonna get coached the same way, I’m gonna play my game the same way.”

Lundqvist is no stranger to seeing the Washington Capitals in the playoffs. Two times he’s faced Washington in the postseason in 2009 and 2011 and came away the loser in the series, going down in seven games in 2009 and in five games last season. That’s not something that’s going to bother him, however.

“The past is the past. I don’t think about all that. It’s different teams,” Lundqvist says. “We’re in a different place, they’re in a different place. Going into that, we’re going to approach it the same way of course. We’re not going to over-think it or do too much.”

Over-thinking things could be the Rangers’ undoing if they get frustrated by the Caps’ defensive ways. Lundqvist will have to play the foil for Washington if New York is to keep Cinderella from dancing right along.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.