The Washington Capitals returned from Christmas break and were back in action at Madison Square Garden, playing the Rangers for the second meeting between the two teams. Comentators expressed disappointment that backup goalies Philipp Grubauer and Andre Pavelec were manning the nets, but the game was an epic battle between the backups. The Capitals lost to the Rangers 1-0.
Gruabuer played spectacular once again, making 37 saves in regulation in overtime but the offense failed to provide any support once again. His record falls to 2-5-3 on the season but he has points in five straight games.
Capitals’ Lineup against the New York Rangers
#Caps‘ lines vs NYR:
8-Ovechkin, 19-Backstrom, 43-Wilson
13-Vrana, 92-Kuznetsov, 77-Oshie
65-Burakovsky, 20-Eller, 10-Connolly
25-Smith-Pelly, 83-Beagle, 39-Chiasson
Grubauer vs Pavelec #CapsNYR
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) December 28, 2017
The Good: The Capitals had six shots in the final seven minutes and only had four giveaways, while the Rangers had seven giveaways.
The Bad: The Rangers won 63% of the faceoffs in the period and led in blocked shots 8-1. The Rangers were in the crease blocking a lot of shots, preventing several Capitals’ scoring chances.
The Ugly: The Capitals only had two shots in the first 13 minutes of the period and spent a majority of that time in their own zone.
The Good: The Capitals outshot the Rangers 13-8 in the second period and led 21-18 in shots after a scoreless 40 minutes.
The Bad: The Capitals won 40% of the faceoffs through two periods and trailed 13-3 in blocked shots. The Rangers led in takeaways 9-5. The Capital had eight giveaways, though the Rangers had 11.
The Ugly: The Capitals didn’t convert on two power plays, taking only three shots in the process. The Capitals have not scored on their past 22 power play opportunities.
The Good: Philipp Grubauer made 17 saves the third period and 35 Rangers shots on the night. The Capitals led 22-19 in hits.
The Bad: The Rangers led the Capitals in blocked shots, 16-10. The Rangers won 62% of the faceoffs.
The Ugly: The Rangers surged in the first seven minutes of the period, outshooting the Capitals 8-2. The Rangers led 18-6 in shots during the third period. The Capitals went through a 135-minute drought without a goal. The Capitals had 16 giveaways, though the Rangers had 19 in regulation.
60 minutes would not be enough to solve the final score for the fourth time in five games for Washington… neither would 65. The game would go to a shootout. The Capitals led 3-2 in shots in overtime.
Zuccarello scored but Oshie was robbed by Pavelec in round one.
Zibanejad would score on a wrist shot to beat Grubauer and Ovechkin missed in the net in the second round in the shootout.
The Rangers would win 1-0 in a shootout.
Shots – Capitals – 30 Rangers – 37
Blocked Shots – Capitals – 12 Rangers – 19
Power Play – Capitals – 0/2 Rangers – 0/3
Hits – Capitals – 22 Rangers – 20
The Capitals close out their season series against the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena for the Bruins’ lone visit of the season to Washington. The Capitals took the first two games of the season series in Boston, most recently a 5-3 decision two weeks ago. The Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 at TD Garden tonight and have won five in a row. The Capitals will be seeking their 12th straight win against the Bruins tomorrow night. Puck drop will be at 7:30 on NBC Sports Network.
By Harrison Brown