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And “Away” We Go: Rangers Hit The Road For Playoffs

The New York Rangers will return to the playoffs after missing the tournament last season for the first time since the lockout.  Their opponents in the first round will be the first place Washington Capitals.  Game One will be at Washington, starting at 7:30 on Wednesday.

There is a bit of added incentive for the Rangers against this particular opponent.  In 2009, the Rangers were in complete control in their series against the Washington Capitals.  Up three games to one, the Rangers lost three straight to the Caps to see their season slip away in shocking fashion.  An upset over the Conference Champions would go a long way toward erasing that painful memory.

Considering the names of the players on these two teams, one would think Washington would have the offensive edge, while New York has the advantage in goaltending.  Upon closer inspection however, the non-offensive Rangers actually outscored the Capitals in the regular season with 233 goals compared to 224.  On the other hand, despite having the goalie with the most shutouts in the league in Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers actually gave up one more goal than the Caps did.  It should be a much closer series than the One vs Eight matchup suggests.

For the Rangers, finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference means that they will not have home ice advantage in any round of the playoffs.  Luckily, home ice hasn’t meant much to the Rangers this season.  Their away record of 24-16-1 gives them a 63% winning percentage on the road.  At home, they won only 48% of their games, with a record of 20-17-4.

Dante Vassallo
follow me on Twitter @dpv9

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