WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Caps fans have been forced to temper expectations after Washington raced to a 2-0 series lead, then promptly dropped the next two on the road in New York, but the help the Rangers are getting from the referees is undeniable, even to veteran broadcaster Joe Beninati.

“The calls definitely went the Rangers way,” Joe B told the Junkies  on The Fan Thursday.

“I really thought the Rangers were going to get the calls in Game 3,” he said. “I expected Washington to be short-handed, and it’s just the way it seems to work out and it happened. I did not expect the Rangers to have six power plays in the first 27 minutes of Game 3, which they did. Now, they only converted one of those, although the Boyle goal if I remember was just at the end of a power play, but the cumulative effect wears you out.”

This isn’t a case of a passionate fan base blindly shouting that referees aren’t calling it down the middle. With 12 minutes in Game 3 and 8 minutes in Game 4, the Caps have doubled the Rangers in time spent in the penalty box each of the last two games.

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“You’re not in any sort of a rhythm. Guys who are normally playing regular in the four-line rotation, aren’t,” Beninati pointed out.

And the end result is two teams with a history, deadlocked four games into a best-of-seven series; each fan base hoping not to be the first to watch its team drop a game on home ice.

“At the beginning of the series and a couple days before it, while we had that unending four days to wait for the series to begin, I think we all thought it was going to be a long series, so we’re right where we started,” Beninati said.

And hopefully for Washington faithful, this series will end the same way it began.

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Hear Joe B rip the refs some more below…


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