The Washington Capitals could learn a lesson from former coach Bruce Boudreau, whose Anaheim Ducks know how to win on the road. Anaheim's 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals Dec. 23 was its sixth consecutive road win.
The Capitals (19-14-4) will play 12 of their next 18 games on the road. Through the Christmas break, only the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings played more home games than the Capitals.
The New York Rangers (18-18-2) will visit Verizon Center Dec. 27, and then the Capitals will close out December at the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 29 and at Ottawa Dec. 30.
The Capitals will play five home games in January, 10 on the road. So far, Washington is 7-6-3 away and 12-8-1 at home.
Last season, Adam Oates' first as head coach, the Capitals went .500 away, winning 12 of 24. The last time they had a winning record on the road was 2010-11, when they went 23-15-3 during Boudreau's final full season as head coach.
The Caps and Rangers have split their head-to-head games this season, and the goalies made the differences.
Washington rookie Philipp Grubauer earned his first NHL victory Dec. 8 when the Caps beat the Rangers, 4-1, in Madison Square Garden. Grubauer stopped 30 shots and came within 1:53 of a shutout.
New York's Henrik Lundqvist shut out the Capitals Oct. 16 during a 2-0 Rangers victory at Verizon Center. Lundqvist stopped 22 shots.
Lundqvist recently signed a long-term contract extension, but backup Cam Talbot has been the big story lately. Talbot led the Rangers into the holiday break by winning back-to-back starts.
The Rangers will enter the contest four points behind second-place Washington (42 points) in the Metropolitan Division. The division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins are 13 points ahead of the Capitals, who have played two fewer games.
The Capitals had eight shots on goal during the final two periods against Anaheim, and 19 total for the game.
They had 22 shots on goal during a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils Dec. 21. The Devils put 37 shots on Caps goalie Braden Holtby.
The last time the Capitals outshot an opponent was Dec. 15, when they outshot the Philadelphia Flyers, 33-28, during a 5-4 shootout victory.