Now, down 2-0 to the Boston Bruins entering Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), the Rangers will need that hometown advantage if they hope to get back in this series.
Just don't ask them to explain their remarkable record at home.
"Really, I don't know. It confuses me why some pucks go in at home when they don't go in in certain situations on the road. Who knows why?" Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I think today's game is a lot different from back in the '70s, when there was a real distinct advantage to playing at home. I don't think there is [an advantage today]. But there must be. The record shows it."
There is no disputing the Rangers' record at home lately. They last lost a regulation game at MSG two months ago, 3-1 to the Florida Panthers on March 21. Three nights later, they lost 3-2 in a shootout at home against the Capitals. In the regular season and playoffs, they've gone 9-0-0 at home since. The Rangers, who posted the Eastern Conference's third-best home record during the 2012-13 season, will be looking to improve on it Tuesday.
"It's a lot easier when you play at home. Obviously our fans have been really good," said Derick Brassard, who has yet to lose at home since coming to the Rangers at the NHL Trade Deadline on April 3. "Every time you go play on the road, you have to face the atmosphere and the crowd. We're going to have our crowd behind us. We just want to get that energy and play good in front of our fans. It gives us a lot of energy."