by Patrick Hoffman on 05/02/12 at 09:54 AM ET
Based on the way the first two games have gone between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, it appears that this series has the potential to be a long one.
Heading into tonight’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center, both teams find themselves tied at one game apiece. The Blueshirts took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 while the Capitals fought back and won Game 2 by a score of 3-2 to even up the series.
Neither team won their games in convincing fashion in this series. In Game 1, there were 32 shots combined between the two clubs and in Game 2, it could have gone either way.
For the Rangers, this should not come as a surprise. In their first round series with the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts and Sens found themselves tied in the series after Games 2, 4, and 6 before the Rangers came through with a victory in Game 7.
Tonight, the Rangers need to make sure that they do everything they can to not let the Capitals take over the series. While they have not exactly been firing on all cylinders, the Capitals do have an offense that is capable of exploding and controlling hockey games, something the Blueshirts need to try and prevent both tonight and in Game 4.
With that said, this series has not seen the best Rangers’ team. The one playing in this series has taken bad penalties at key times, has not cashed in nearly often enough on their scoring opportunities and is one that lacked a killer instinct in Game 2 on Monday night.
This series could go the distance folks so be prepared for anything tonight. Should the Rangers come out and play the way they are capable of playing, it could be a series in which the Rangers can take control and keep it from being a long one.
On the other hand, if the Blueshirts come out flat tonight and has trouble putting the puck in the net, both teams and their fans better prepare themselves for long haul.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.