The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Wednesday night in the first of five meetings between the two heavy-weights this season. The two teams entered tonight’s contest tied atop the Metropolitan Division standings with 16 points a piece. The starting lines for Tuesday night’s battle on Broadway:
As promised, Coach Trotz shuffled the lines once again for the bottom six, moving Andre Burakovsky up to the 3rd line, and moving Tom Wilson down to the 4th line.
1st PP Unit: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Johansson-Oshie-Carlson.
2nd PP Unit: Kuznetsov-Burakovsky-Williams-Orlov-Niskanen.
Healthy scratches for the Capitals included Stanislav Galiev, Taylor Chorney and Michael Latta.
The series picked up where it left off this past spring. A quick-paced game to start, with crisp passing, but that eventually gave way to sloppy play by the Capitals. The Rangers scored four goals on 11 total shots by the end of the second period. The goals were more a result of poor puck management, sloppy play at center ice and poor defensive play. Braden Holtby gave up one questionable goal.
The first period started with crisp play and a very quick pace. The Rangers were the first to light the lamp on a punch-in of a rebound by Oscar Lindberg at the 7:59 mark of the period.
New Ranger Jarret Stoll would get into the spirit of the rivalry, and took a spearing jab at Alex Ovechkin late in the first period. No penalty was called.
The Capitals would knot the score on a break away by Nate Schmidt who made a beautiful pass to a following Alex Ovechkin for the finish with 4:15 left in the period.
The Rangers would strike back just 2:01 after the Ovechkin goal on a wrister by Kevin Hayes, regaining the lead 2-1 with two minutes left in the period.
The Rangers were called for hooking with 18 seconds left in the period. The Capitals were unable to score, but would start the second period on a power play. Rangers led in shots on goal 9-8.
The Capitals started the second period with 1:42 remaining on the power play but were unable to cash-in. Shortly thereafter the Rangers would stretch the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Kevin Klein at the 18:00 mark. The Rangers would add another at the 6:59 mark of the period on a bank-in by Derick Brassard to take a 4-1 lead. The Capitals would cut into the lead with 1:07 left in the period on a knock-in by Marcus Johansson, cutting the lead to 4-2.
The second period would end with the Rangers holding a 4-2 lead. The Rangers scored their four goals on just 11 shots.
The Capitals were able to step up the offensive pressure in the third period as the Rangers fell into more of a defensive mode. The Rangers Jarret Stoll would score on a wrister to stretch the lead to 5-2 with 9:07 left in the game.
The final Rangers 5, Capitals 2.