Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom knows exactly how the New York Rangers are feeling right about now.
He knows what its like to finish first in the Eastern Conference and lose a Game 7 at home in the second round of the playoffs.
He knows there is a difference between playing a Game 7 as the No. 1 seed Rangers and being the seventh seed Capitals.
I would say its a different mindset, Backstrom said. We dont have the pressure on us. Theyre the No. 1 seed and theyre under pressure. We just have to give everything weve got and hopefully get a W.
The Rangers have said for the past two days that they worked all season for home ice in Game 7 of a playoff series. They used that to their advantage in the opening round when they beat the Ottawa Senators in Game 7, improving their record in Game Sevens at Madison Square Garden to 4-0.
But Backstrom believes that with each playoff round the stakes grow higher and the pressure intensifies for the higher seed,
Youre aware of how the media is talking, he said, and you dont want to disappoint your home fans.