AUBURN HILLS, Mich.
— It’s a perfect storm of bad news for the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals this week.
The two teams will be on opposite ends of the spectrum of players and teams that can take advantage of this week’s schedule changes to get some fresh legs in.
The Caps, on the other hand, will face off against the Rangers in Boston on Wednesday, while the Capitals and Bruins will be playing each other on Wednesday night in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Washington Capitals are going to be the team that will be making a run at a playoff berth with this one.
They have won six straight games to start the season, and have the league’s second-best record at 3-1-0.
The team has been one of the hottest teams in the NHL this season, averaging an average of 3.04 goals per game and a .897 save percentage.
The Capitals have been especially strong this season.
They are 11-0-0 since March 1, going 3-0 in their past seven games, including a 3-2 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night.
Washington has been dominant in the second period of each of its past three games, and the Capitals have outscored their opponents by an average score of 2.18 to 1.78 in the period.
In addition to that, Washington has allowed just one goal in its past four games.
They’ve also scored three goals in a span of just two minutes and 38 seconds, and are now averaging 4.28 goals per contest in the first period.
Washington’s offense has been clicking in recent weeks.
They’re averaging a league-best 17 goals in the past six games, with two coming from the top line of Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The duo have been hot, scoring six goals in their last five games, scoring twice on the power play and setting up a second goal by Braden Holtby on Wednesday.
The trio has five goals in five games this season in which they have scored more than three goals, and they’re also tied for the league lead in goals in games where they’ve scored five or more.
Capitals goalie Braden Boeser is one of three goalies in the league who have not allowed a goal in the shootout, which the Capitals are currently playing in their first playoff game.
Washington is averaging 1.25 goals per shot, which ranks seventh in the League, and is currently tied for seventh with Anaheim for the most goals allowed in the postseason.
Injuries to players like Erik Karlsson and Andre Burakovsky have allowed Washington to be a little stingier offensively, as the Capitals lead the NHL with 24 goals in 30 games.
The teams are tied for third in the Atlantic Division at 3.02 goals per games.
It’s been a rough season for Washington, but the Capitals still lead the East by five points.
They’ll be in the mix for a wild card spot, but they need to win out in Boston to make the postseason, as they have the best record at 6-2-0 this season with the third wild card.
This will be the second of five meetings between the teams, which will kick off on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
ET at TD Garden.
The third game will be Thursday at 7:30 p.