WASHINGTON – Troy Brouwer says the Washington Capitals have "a little extra fire" as they prepare to face the New York Rangers in the opening round of the NHL playoffs.
The Capitals and Rangers are familiar postseason foes, meeting for the third year in a row and for the fourth time in five years. New York eliminated Washington in seven games last year, with all but one of the games decided by one goal.
The Capitals have a reputation for going home early in the playoffs. They've yet to make it past the second round since becoming regular postseason participants in 2008.
First-year coach Adam Oates says he ignores the recent history because he wasn't part of it and is approaching things with a clean slate.
Game 1 is Thursday in Washington.