With their split in New York, the Capitals gained home-ice advantage on the Rangers in what is now a best-of-five second-round playoff series.
Whats it mean? Probably not much.
The Caps are 4-2 on the road in these playoffs and 1-2 at home. This despite going 16-21-4 on the road in the regular season and 26-11-4 at the Verizon Center.
Wed rather play at home 10 times out of 10, defenseman John Carlson said as the Caps prepare for tonights 7:30 game at the Phone Booth.
Thats still where we play our best hockey, Alzner said. Itll be nice to get the crowd behind us. Our confidence is high right now.
The Caps actually played better on the road than they did at home down the stretch. After Feb. 25 they went 10-5-1 in their final 16 road games and 6-3-2 at home.
Maybe you try to do too much at home and it leads to their chances, Jason Chimera said. Maybe we need to take that road mentality home.
The Caps road mentality is to play a safe, simple, low-risk game of dump and chase. That game is easier to play on the road, where there is no pressure to excite the home crowd with the end-to-end-rushes that was once a signature characteristic of the Capitals.
I know the home crowd wants some flash and dazzle, Troy Brouwer said, but we need to keep it simple and play a solid game.
Keep out, player napping: This time of year hockey players are so routine-oriented that simple chores around the house are often left undone.
You cut off a few more distractions out of your life, said Mike Knuble, who has three children. This time of year its pretty much just sleeping and playing. People kind of know to stay away from you. You kind of stay in your own bubble.
Knuble said that when the team returned home after four days in New York his lawn needed to be mowed and his 11-year-old son volunteered to cut it.
I might have to encourage it, he said.
Hitting the airwaves: The Capitals were busy talking hockey even before hitting the ice today.
Defenseman Karl Alzner was up bright and early talking Caps-Rangers at 8:30 with Elliot in the Morning on DC 101.1 FM. At 8:45 right wing Mike Knuble hopped on with The Sports Junkies, The Fan 106.7 FM, and at 8:50 Jason Chimera was speed talking on WTOP 103.5 FM.
Later today at 2:45 p.m. Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May will be talking hockey on ESPN 980 AM, then previewing tonights game at 4:30 p.m. on the same station.