After finishing the game yesterday around 630PM, taking down the red hot Detroit Redwings 3-1, the Washington Capitals were able to make their way to the “Big Apple” and beat the New York Rangers 5-3 before 430PM rolled around. That’s a lot of hockey in less than 24 hours, and it was good hockey, to boot.
Predictably, the Capitals got off to a slow start. The first period was rough, as they were trying to find their legs. The Rangers ended the period up 1-0, but after that, the Capitals took over and kept their foot on the gas. The MoneyPuck graph below reflects this.
After the first period, the Rangers only gained 0.4 in Expected Goals, while the Caps gained about 1.8 in Expected Goals.
It was a real good last 40 minutes for the Caps. And although the Rangers also played yesterday, they got an extra three hours rest and were able to sleep at home. Also take into account they are a younger team so they can handle recharge faster.
The heat map provided by Natural Stat Trick really shows where the Caps were shooting from. They did a good job at keeping the Rangers from the net, though it looked like they went for the back door pass a lot.
Alexander Ovechkin was his usual self when playing at Madison Square Garden. He was pretty dominant with a goal off a nice pass from John Carlson, who had three primary assists today. Dmitrij Jaskin had probably his most noticeable game while wearing the red sweater. He didn’t score but he had two great chances.
According to Natural Stat Trick, the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson line had about 37% offensive zone starts, yet they out shot attempted the opposition by ~14-11, out scoring chanced them ~7-3, and out high danger scoring chanced them ~4-1. That’s a dominant game by a buried first line. Side note: Tom Wilson now has four goals and five assists in seven games and the Capitals are 6-1 since his return.
It’s also pretty remarkable that the Capitals have been 5-0 since both Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie have been out of the lineup with concussions. The Caps will probably have to go at least one more game without them when they face ex-coach Barry Trotz and his New York Islanders on Monday. After that they have a full three days off before their next game.
By Luke Adomanis