The Washington Times - May 6, 2013, 10:53AM

The New York Rangers are down two games to none to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but coach John Tortorella doesn’t see the series as lopsided.

“I think [the two teams have] been a hell of a lot more even that a lot of other people think,” Tortorella said Monday morning. “But it really doesn’t matter. We need to win a game. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the other two, we need to win a game and that’s all we’re thinking about.”

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After beating the Rangers 3-1 in Game 1, the Caps needed overtime to get one past Henrik Lundqvist for a 1-0 victory in Game 2 on Saturday. But Tortorella refuses to judge based only on results.

“I can’t afford to do that,” he said. “I think a big part of coaching is address your team on how they played, not what the result was. It’s a game of results, there’s no question, but I can’t go about the process of coaching a hockey team on what the result was.”

In his 2-minute, 25-second press conference before the Rangers’ optional morning skate, Tortorella quipped that reporters have their heads stuck in their computers and talked about the little plays that have made the difference through two games, like Rick Nash hitting the post in the third period Saturday.

If Nash scores that goal, it’s probably a 1-1 series going into Game 3 Monday night at Madison Square Garden. But he didn’t, so Tortorella’s focus is on the immediate future instead of the recent past.

“I think we’re close, I’ll put it to you that way,” Tortorella said. “But it means squat if you don’t win.”

Rangers center Brian Boyle said he and his teammates have played “all right” so far.

“We want to maximize our chances and give ourselves the best chance to win so we can obviously elevate our game a little bit,” Boyle said. “I don’t think we’ve played terribly, but it doesn’t really matter now. it is’ 2-0, we’re down and we’ve got to claw our way into it.”

Asked about Tortorella’s assessment of the series, Caps coach Adam Oates initially said: “It doesn’t matter. It’s 2-0 so I don’t know how that’s even.” Then, he clarified.

“Both games were good games, maybe he means by that and it could’ve gone either way,” Oates said. “The margin of error was very small. I would agree with that.”

A few Caps players brushed off talk of the first two games, shifting focus to Monday’s Game 3. Despite not allowing a shot for the final 17:43 of Game 2 and winning Game 1 by two goals, Troy Brouwer agreed with Tortorella.

“It’s close. You know, last game is 1-0 overtime and you can’t get much closer than that,” the right wing said. “And the other game, you know, Lundqvist played really well and we were able to get a couple by him. This series has been very close. The shots, the hits, everything relatively similar, but we’ve had a couple good bounces and that’s why we’re up 2-0.”