Rangers take on dangerous Caps after incredible win against Flyers.
The New York Rangers are coming off an unbelievable 9-0 win that neither they nor their fans are going to forget for a long, long time. It came the same day that all of the members of the team’s coaching staff were placed on the COVID-19 protocol list.
Kris Knoblauch, the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, as well as some of his fellow Hartford coaches and Rangers assistant general manager Chris Drury were able to relax a bit with the way the players were performing.
This win was unforgettable, but the goal would be for the Rangers to get a winning streak going with the hopes of making a late playoff push. Beating the red-hot Washington Capitals on Friday would be step one.
The Capitals have won six in a row and are the hottest team in the league. A win for the Rangers here would be incredibly impressive.
Of course, because the Rangers were so dominant agains the Flyers, the lineup against the Capitals would be identical.
Special congratulations go out to Brendan Smith, who would be playing in his 500th career game.
1st period: The Breadman. He always delivers.
The Rangers didn’t skip a beat coming into this game and were the more dominant team in the first. They deserved a goal and they got one off the stick of their best player.
Ryan Strome made a great pass to Artemi Panarin on the power play, who sniped it in. The Rangers’ power play continues to produce and Strome and Panarin continue to be a dynamic duo.
2nd period: Defensively sound
The Rangers didn’t score in the second, but were able to hold the Capitals back to take their 1-0 lead into the third. The Rangers’ defense was showing off in the second, preventing the Capitals from getting anything going offensively.
The penalty killing was elite, as usual, during this game, as well. The Rangers were the better team in the second, as well, and would need to maintain their great play and even add to their goal total in the third.
3rd period: Of course.
This was a brutal game for the Rangers to lose. An unlucky deflection as well as a goal Alexandar Georgiev probably wants back allowed the Capitals to win 2-1.
Props must be given to Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek, who came up with some big saves to prevent the Rangers from scoring again.
The Rangers were unluckier more so than anything else in this game. They deserved to win, but weren’t fortuitous enough to get the victory.
Still, such a valiant performance against the best team in the league right now is impressive. Things might be turning around for this young Rangers team.
Key Moment: #1 for #8
The key moment for the Rangers was the Capitals’ first goal. They had done a fantastic job of keeping the great Alexander Ovechkin quiet all game, but he’s arguably the greatest scorer of all time for a reason.
On the first goal, the puck took an unlucky bounce that Ovechkin was bound to put in the net. But the Rangers made the mistake of letting him get hot.
The Capitals gained momentum after the first goal and their second was almost identical to the first. Ovechkin learned from the first goal and took advantage of some poor goaltending by Georgiev to put in another.
Player of the game: Ryan Strome
Strome has spent this season proving to everyone that last year wasn’t an anomaly. He has 16 points in his last 14 games and was a guy who stepped up big when his linemate, Panarin, was out.
He’s stayed hot, however, and is still producing big time with Panarin back in. This game was no different. Strome was incredibly strong up and down the ice and stood out in all aspects.
His numbers: 19:55 TOI, 1 A, 80 CF%, 0.71 iXG, 1.34 xGF, 0.1 xGA, 0 GF, 0 GA, 2.29 Game Score, 1.01 defensive rating, 0.14 offensive rating, and 1.09 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.