You are going to hear a lot from the fancy-stats community about how the New York Rangers should come out victorious when they face off against the Washington Capitals for the third consecutive time because they put more shots on net during even strength than Washington.
And it is true: They did.
During this short season, the Blueshirts took 54 percent of the total number of unblocked shots during even-strength while the Capitals were responsible for slightly more than 47 percent, the sixth-worst in the league. That appears to be a big disparity, but the raw numbers and talent levels of each team shows the gap is not nearly as precarious as it appears.

Each team played roughly 48 minutes of even-strength time per game, so the shot differential when we scale it to this number and take into account the opponents faced would look like this: New York 27, Washington 21. That’s a woeful minus-6 shot differential for the Capitals. However, what the Caps lack in possession they make up for in skill.
Washington had a 8.6 even-strength shooting percentage while New York finished 7.4 percent of their even-strength shots — neither of which is too far above or below the league average to raise an eyebrow as to their sustainability. That being said, if each team finishes their shots at their average rates this season then the Rangers’ shot advantage equates to two-tenths of a goal at even-strength per game. Or one more goal every five games.
So even though Washington can be expected to be outshot by almost six per game (including score effects) during even strength, the net goal differential based on finishing talent would be nearly zero. Which brings us to what could be the difference maker: the power play.