The surging Washington Capitals have hitched their fortunes to their stellar power play. Their play with the man advantage has been impressive all season, but has recently shifted into overdrive, climbing to the top of the NHL in efficiency. But as has always been the case, you have to get there through your 5-on-5 play. As they drop the puck tonight in their match against the Rangers, one stat will be key--scoring chances.
Simply put, the Caps have to take it to the net. Even if they do not manage to get a shot off, they have to make life miserable for the Rangers' defensive corps. Especially now that their anchor, Mark Staal, will be out indefinitely. Scoring chances when taken to the extreme not only lead to possible goals while at even strength, they also lead to power play chances. And thus completes the cycle.
So my point is....drive to the net with consistency, and, as long as the refs have their glasses on when the Rangers resort to fouling, the Caps will be able to cash in. Watch tonight and see if the game proves me right or wrong.