With the Caps trailing two games to none, they have the Rangers right where they want 'em.
In the Caps' playoff history, as DC Sports Bog notes, the home team lost the first two, but came back to win the series both times it's happened.
Sadly, both times were against the Caps.
In '03, they were up 2-0 on Torts' Lightning team. Four Lightning wins later, and the Caps were playing golf.
The Bog says it first happened in 1996 "against the second (ahem)-seeded Penguins. The first two games were both decided by the same margin, and included a starting goalie change for Game 2, with the new guy never having made a playoff start. The higher seeded Penguins had the league's top-scoring offense and best power play. Does any of this sound familiar?"
Can the Caps get payback for playoff gremlins past?
It's certainly possible.
Think about the two games they've played.
Game 1 wasn't the team's best effort, but if Jose prevents two softies from going in, the Caps win.
Who knows what would've happened in Game 2 had Ovie's shot that made the pipe sing been just 1/4-inch lower.
King Henry played well -- he did get a shutout. But were there any saves where you thought, "Man, we can't get anything past this guy?" The Rangers blocked a lot of shots. And the Caps flung a lot of mediocre shots toward the guy.
He hasn't been that unstoppable.
The Caps must get their noses dirty. They need someone other than Brooks Laich to stand in front of the net. They need to make the Rangers defensemen get physical -- building traffic in front of Hank so that he can't see when they lob those pellets toward him.
If they do those things, Game 3 could be theirs.
If they win that one, all of a sudden it's 2-1, and the pressure starts to shift.
Then we'll be talking about the Rangers crappy power play, their mediocre goal scoring, and a defense that can be exploited with some crisp passing.
All the Caps need, though, is one win tonight.