The Washington Capitals are coming off of a 2-0 victory that gave them a series lead of that very same margin. Today, they travel to play the New York Rangers in Game of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, looking to extend their series lead to 3-0.
In Game 2, the Capitals looked like the better team from start to finish, as they were able to play solid defense and keep themselves in the Rangers offensive zone for most of the night. Jason Chimera and Jason Arnott were the scorers in that game, but there was much more to the game than the scorers themselves. The Rangers were very physical with the Caps, particularly Sean Avery, and the Caps were not going to give in to New York's tactics to try and rattle them. They were calm and composed the entire night and that contributed to the win as much as Arnott and Chimera's goals.
Today, the Rangers will enjoy the comforts of playing at home for the first time in this series, and will look for any sign of hope as they are staring a 3-0 series deficit in the face. In the history of the Rangers franchise, they have never won a series after losing the first two games, so they will be coming out tonight as desperate as desperate can be.
The Capitals, on the other hand, will head into this game confidently knowing that if they can win tonight's game, it would be a back breaker for the Rangers. Ending the series as quickly as possible would be a boon for the team, as they still have several players still injured or coming off of injury (such as Dennis Wideman and Mike Green), and giving them more time to rest in between series would be very beneficial.
But that's getting ahead of ourselves, the Caps still have to take care of business this afternoon in Madison Square Garden for them to even begin thinking about potentially moving on in the playoffs.