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The Rangers' struggles on the power play are well documented. They have scored just one goal in 13 opportunities, which is second-worst in the playoffs.
The Rangers did, however, show marked improvement on the power play in Game 3, scoring one goal and having the kind of puck movement that led to more chances.
Still, the Rangers cannot be scoring at such a low rate when they are getting so many chances. Power plays swing the momentum of a game. If the Rangers score a power-play goal, the momentum is in their favor. But if the Caps kill it off, then they have momentum.
The Rangers have gotten the sixth-most chances in the postseason. One goal is simply not good enough. The Caps have not yet proven that they can be disciplined, and they have taken many foolish penalties. But if the Rangers aren't going to score, then it doesn't matter.
The Rangers need to put as many pucks on net as possible. They need to crash the net and try to get some rebounds. They need to make sure Rick Nash is the focal point of the power play, not a side show. John Moore, who played had more power-play time in Game 3, has shown to be effective on the point and should stay there.
If the Rangers can take advantage of their multiple chances on the man advantage, then they will come back in this series fairly easily.
Let's be frank—the Rangers are a better team than the Caps. But by not scoring on these prime chances, they are letting the Caps stay in games and eventually win them. John Tortorella was right when he said the series is closer than it looks [via Bergen Record]:
I think (the first two games) have been a hell of a lot more even than a lot of other people think. It really doesn’t matter. We need to win a game. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the other two. We need to win a game and that is all we are thinking about.
The Rangers have already won one game. With some better power plays, they could easily win a few more.