Three Keys to Rangers beating the Capitals in Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

May 13, 2015; New York, NY, USA; the New York Rangers shake hands with the Washington Capitals over
May 13, 2015; New York, NY, USA; the New York Rangers shake hands with the Washington Capitals over / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Your New York Rangers are going into the playoffs as the number-one seed in the NHL. With the Presidents Trophy in their back pocket and a date with the Washington Capitals in round one, the Blueshirts have a path to the second round. If they are going to set up this seemingly inevitable clash in round two with the Carolina Hurricanes, New York needs to see the Washington Capitals off and progress to the second round.

It will be the first time the organizations have clashed in eight years since the 2014-15 season, when the Rangers made it to the Conference Finals. That was the year when Derek Stepan got the series winner halfway through overtime in game seven of a set faceoff play. This year, the New York Rangers will try to have history repeat itself when they try to overcome the Capitals again this spring. New York is again the dominant force in the league, and Washington is far less competitive now than they were back then.

Regarding the Metropolitan Division titles won between the two organizations, they are two of the most storied franchises in the division. Washington won five division titles with the core of the older days, and New York captured their second title in the realigned divisions this year. Only Carolina and Pittsburgh have won the division outside these two organizations, so there is a strong pedigree between these two franchises. While this isn't the Capitals team that won those divisions, they can win.

New York is the heavy favorite going into the series against Washington, but the Capitals know they have a shot in any series they can get their captain going in. They are built with the physicality of playoff hockey in mind. They are challenging to defeat when they get to the dance, but that is the task ahead of these New York Rangers. So, what will have to go right for the Blueshirts to take the win in this series?