Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 4-2 Friday night at Capital One Arena. The win was the 4th straight for the Capitals. The win also improved the Capitals record to 18-11-1. The Capitals are off this weekend and will next do battle when they visit the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on Monday. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.
Braden Holtby (15-6-0, 2.50 GAA, .921 sv%) got the start in goal for the Caps. Henrik Lundqvist (13-6-0-2, 2.66 GAA, .917 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Rangers. Andre Burakovsky returned to the lineup after missing the previous 20 games with a broken left thumb. The starting lines for the Capitals:
Scratches: T.J. Oshie missed a second-consecutive game due to an “upper body injury” sustained against San Jose on Monday. Taylor Chorney was the healthy scratch. Travis Boyd was re-assigned to Hershey on Thursday. Tyler Graovac was waived on Thursday and re-assigned to Hershey on Friday.
The Capitals struck quickly with a goal by Jay Beagle just 14 seconds into the contest. This was Beagle’s 4th goal of the season.
John Walton with the call on Caps radio:
That would be all of the scoring for the opening frame as the Capitals took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Capitals shooting troubles were not evident in the first period as Washington outshot New York 17-9 for the first period. The Rangers were 0 for 0 and the Capitals 0 for 1 on the man advantage.
The Capitals fell into old ways in the second period, as the Rangers greatly outshot the Capitals in the middle frame. However, Braden Holtby made several sharp saves to keep the game 1-0.
Nicklas Backstrom would stretch the Capitals to 2-0 with a top-shelf sizzler at 11:42 of the middle frame.
John Walton with the call:
The Rangers would cut the Caps lead in half late in the period with a goal by Michael Grabner at the 19:03 make of the middle frame.
The Rangers outshot the Capitals 13-8 for the second period. The Capitals led in shots on goal 25-22 after two periods of play. The Rangers were 0 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 3 on the power play through two periods of play.
The Rangers would be awarded the first power play of the third period with 13:52 remaining in regulation, but the Rangers were unable to generate any kind of significant attack during the man advantage.
However the Rangers would tie the game on the ensuing 5-on-5 play when Jesper Fast knocked one home from the right dot at 9:37 of the final frame.
The Capitals would go on the power play at 11:51 of the third, but the Caps were unable to dent twine.
The Caps would regain the lead late on a rebound score by Matt Niskanen at 16:28 of the third period.
John Walton with the call:
Tom Wilson would put the game away with a beautiful dash up the seam and finish on Lunqvsit, making it 4-2.
John Walton’s call on Caps radio:
And that would be it as the Caps held on for the 4-2 victory. Good night New York!
- With the win, Washington improved to 18-11-1 and moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
- Jay Beagle scores 14 seconds into the game. That’s the shortest amount of time the Capitals have scored their first goal all season (previous: 20 seconds, Alex Ovechkin vs. MTL, Oct. 7).
- Nicklas Backstrom scored a goal in his second-straight game. That marked Backstrom’s 193rd career Capitals/NHL goal, which tied Dave Christian for seventh in franchise history. Backstrom also added an assist on Wilson’s goal.
- Washington’s 17 shots in the first period is the most shots the Capitals have recorded in the first period this year and the second-most of any period this season (Nov. 18 vs. Minnesota, 22 shots in third period).
- Matt Niskanen scored his first goal of the year and the game winner. That marked Niskanen’s 16th game-winning goal and his sixth as a Capital.
- Christian Djoos led Capitals in shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (14 shot attempts for, 4 against, 77.78 shot attempts percentage.
- The Capitals improved to 12-5-0 at Capital One Arena, tied for the most home wins in the NHL this season.
- Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 380th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
- NHL box score is here.
Barry Trotz’ post game press conference:
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT