(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers’ comeback effort came up short on Friday as they surrendered two goals in two minutes to lose to the Capitals by a score of 4-2.

  • New York Rangers 2, (15-11-2)
  • Washington Capitals 4, (18-11-1, 37 points)
  • NYR Goals: Michael Grabner (14), Jesper Fast (6)
  • WSH Goals: Jay Beagle (4), Niklas Backstrom (5), Matt Niskanen (1), Tom Wilson (5)
  • NHL, Final, Boxscore
  • Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

Washington showed the New York Rangers that if they want to compete with the best of the Eastern Conference that they have to put together a complete 60-minute game. That clearly didn’t happen in this one, as the Rangers’ sloppy play ultimately led to their demise on Friday night at the Capital One Arena.

Henrik Lundqvist made his return from his one-game hiatus and wasn’t treated well off the bat. After Kevin Shattenkirk wasn’t able to play the puck, Jay Beagle would capitalize just 14 seconds into the game.

Shattenkirk would get a chance to make up for that blunder but Holtby would make the save flashing the glove.

Outside of that scoring opportunity, Washington did a solid job at controlling the first period. They outshot the Rangers 17-9 and forced Lundqvist to be on top of his game. Thankfully for New York, he was.

In the second period, it was the Rangers turn to control play outshooting the Capitals 13-8. But Braden Holtby would continue to keep Washington in it making save after save.

Holtby making the key save allowed for the Capitals to build on their lead. Off a turnover in the Rangers zone, Niklas Backstrom got a wicked shot past Henrik Lundqvist to extend the Caps lead to two.

But this second goal wouldn’t put the Rangers down. They continued to battle as they always do no matter what the score is and got to within one as the second period came to an end.

The goal was Grabner’s 14th of the season and his 41st goal since joining the Rangers prior to the 2016-2017 season  The line of Grabner, J.T. Miller, and Mats Zuccarello has been the team’s best line over the last few weeks and they continued their solid play in this one.

Lundqvist continued to play a strong game with the Rangers down 2-1 giving them a chance to come back.

With Lundqvist making saves like this, and the Rangers continuing to get chances it felt like it was only a matter of time before they would tie it, next up Jesper Fast. Fast continues to play at a high level and would tie things at two in this one.

That would be all the Rangers could manage off Braden Holtby as he didn’t have to face many shots in the third. Washington outshot the Rangers 15-7 in the final period including this Matt Niskanen goal.

Two minutes later Tom Wilson would get by Ryan McDonagh to give the Capitals a commanding 4-2 lead with a little over a minute remaining. That deficit was ultimately too much to handle as they had a hard pulling Lundqvist in the final minutes.

The Rangers will look to bounce back tomorrow night when they take on the first place New Jersey Devil at the Garden.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.