The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers have faced off in the playoffs three-straight years and once again, they are in a dog fight. Home-ice advantage has proven to be quite critical as the team who’s hosted each game has won.
The Capitals won the first two games of the series and had an opportunity to take a chokehold in New York but failed to do so. The games have played out quite differently based on the venue. In the two games played in Washington, the two sides combined for a total of five goals. In the two games in New York, the two sides combined for 14 tallies.
Home-ice advantage is particularly important to the Rangers, whose offense drops off significantly when they are away from home. The Rangers averaged just 2.17 goals per game on the road this season (23rd in the NHL) compared to 3.08 at home (fifth). They scored just one goal in the first two games in Washington and will need to do a lot more than that if they hope to upset the Capitals on Friday and cash in as a road underdog.