Messier, who is second on the all-time points list (1,887) to
former Edmonton and New York teammate Wayne Gretzky, is
concluding his 25th NHL season. He scored his 694th goal in his
final home game, a 4-3 loss to Buffalo on Wednesday.
Messier bowed and waved goodbye to an adoring crowd at Madison
Square Garden and shook hands with his teammates after the
contest. However, he left open the possibility of returning next
season, saying he would make a decision in the summer.
The Rangers are concluding their seventh straight season without
reaching the playoffs. Messier led the Rangers to the 1994
Stanley Cup, their first championship in 54 years and his sixth.
New York has gone 1-7-0-3 in its last 11 contests, while
Washington is 2-8-2 in its last 12.
The Capitals, who like the Rangers dealt several marquee players
before the trade deadline, are coming off a 3-3 tie at Boston
on Thursday. Superstar right wing Jaromir Jagr has 15 goals and
14 assists in 31 games with the Rangers after being acquired
from Washington on January 23.
Jeff Halpern scored the tying goal Thursday with just under nine
minutes remaining for the Capitals, who finish their season at
Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Rangers are 1-1-0-1 against the Capitals this season.
Washington posted a 4-3 overtime triumph here on March 18.