NEW YORK -- The Washington Capitals made their first trip Sunday to the partially renovated Madison Square Garden. Their next visit here is on Apr. 7, and if they don't start playing better away from Verizon Center it might just be their last road game of the 2011-12 season.
Washington's struggles away from home continued against the Rangers in a 3-2 loss, their 18th loss in 27 road games this season.
"Everybody plays better at home," Washington coach Dale Hunter said. "Everyone's home record is better because you are in our building and you have the fans behind you. Our special teams aren't good enough on the road. If you look at our stats, they are way down on the road. At home, we are one of the best power-play and one of the best penalty-killing teams. We've got to work on the road on our special teams."
That may be true, but no NHL club has a wider gap in results depending on the game's location than the Capitals. Washington is 19-7-2 at home, which is the fourth-best mark in the NHL. The Capitals are also 9-15-3 on the road, and that ranks 26th.
No other team in the League has a bigger discrepancy between those two rankings.