The New York Rangers, despite losing the second period in a big way, come away with the 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals.
New York Rangers 5 (8-2-2, 18 pts)
Washington Capitals 2 (8-3-0, 16 pts)
Full Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
By Corey Aron
On Tuesday night, the New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 5-2 at Madison Square Garden to take control of the Metropolitan Division. The Blueshirts have now won three in a row, including assuring a point in their last seven games.
The score of 5-2 might sound pretty for the Rangers, but this game was far from it. Outside of Henrik Lundqvist playing like an absolute madman in the net to begin the season, and of course the five goals scored in this particular contest, it’s clear the Washington Capitals are better than the team the Rangers faced last year. If you had watched the game, you saw how frustrated head coach Alain Vigneault became at times due to his team’s zone-play. Washington, in the 2nd period alone, out-shot the Rangers 14-2. The idea that Henrik Lundqvist is all-world becomes incredibly underrated after witnessing that. Henrik is playing on an MVP caliber-level, and has already showcased such a highlight reel season that it’s easy to understand why he’s referenced as “The King.”
— Washington Capitals (@washcaps) November 3, 2015
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 4, 2015
His counter-part Braden Holtby was getting the business. And when I mean getting the business, I mean the Rangers got to him tonight. So did the crowd.
HOLTBYYYY HOLTBYYYY HOLTBYYYY HOLTBYYYY
You’ve got to love the Blueshirt faithful. The instigating Holtby chant from the crowd after a Rangers goal must remind him that hit team might have been up 3-1 in the playoffs last year, but the Rangers weren’t going to let their Presidents’ Trophy season go to waste. Instead, New York wasted Holtby and the Capitals on Stepan’s magical Game 7 overtime goal that had Doc Emrick providing us with the best kind of goal-call to fit the occasion. Like I said, it was quite a chant from the crowd.
The quick recap:
Oscar Lindberg tallied his NHL rookie leading sixth goal of the season after collecting a rebound shot to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead with 12 minutes to go in the 1st period. Ovechkin, skating from ice-to-ice, shifting his way, showing us the tricks that only he can really do on the ice, was able to avenge his team’s early hole by plugging away on a 2-on-1 pass for a quick little one-timer to notch things up 1-1. Shortly thereafter, the Rangers had Kevin Hayes finding an open window in the corner with a wrist-shot to get New York back up 2-1 ending the 1st intermission.
As I mentioned earlier, the Rangers only amassed two shots in the 2nd period. However, you better believe these guys made each shot count.
Killing a Washington powerplay must have flustered Ovechkin enough because he misplayed a pass from Justin Williams, resulting in a theft-job from Derick Brassard who found defenseman Kevin Klein trailing the play. He slaped one home to give New York a two-goal lead.
A 3-1 lead is a big deal for an important set the tone kind of game in this season. But 4-1 sounded even better as Brassard capitalized on a nice takeaway from Mats Zuccarello and was able to get his 4th goal on the season. Brassard has been playing much better of late – being promoted back with his boys on the top line – and is also focusing his game on faceoffs.
Marcus Johansson finally got Washington back to within two goals down by ending off the 2nd intermission trailing the Rangers 4-2.
At the 11:11 mark in the 3rd period saw Brooks Orpik called for a hooking penalty which gave the Rangers its first power play of the game. The Rangers finally got to enjoy some zone time for themselves as AV mixed together three-lines on that power play. A little later, Jarett Stoll beat Holtby for his first goal as a Ranger, solidifying a 5-2 victory which now gives the Blueshirts sole possession of the Metropolitan Division lead as well as holding the dominating distinction of having the second best goal differential (+13) on the season. I suppose that secret 11:11 PP wish came through.
The additions of Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie will have the Capitals likely finishing as a top-four seed this year in the Eastern Conference. Barry Trotz is a really terrific head coach and things will continue to heat up.
Who knows? Perhaps these two teams are destined for the Stanley Cup Playoffs yet again (Rangers lead overall playoff series by the count of 3-2 since 2008).
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