The Capitals trip to New York this weekend was a perfect four-point effort. With wins over the Islanders (here) and Rangers (here), the Capitals are now sitting atop the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of the Islanders in second place. Lets take a closer look at the stats from Sunday’s tilt with the Rangers.
The Capitals once again gave up a quick goal in first few minutes of the game. It was the fifth consecutive game in which the Capitals gave up the game’s first goal within the first four minutes of the contest. The saving grace, they’ve rallied to win the last four games. On Sunday the Capitals would respond with goals from Carl Hagelin, his first with the Capitals, and Andre Burakovsky for a 2-1 lead midway through the opening frame. The Rangers would respond with a goal in the second droid that ultimately sent the game to overtime and a shootout. The Capitals stick a fork in their weekend trip with a shootout victory.
Todd Reirden continued to shuffle the forward lines for this one. Carl Hagelin and Andre Burakovsky switched LW positions, with Hagelin moving up to the third line and Burakovsky dropping to the 4th line.
Holtby vs. Georgiev
This game was very similar to Friday’s tilt with the Islanders in Uniondale, as far as shot attempts were concerned. The opposition started with a higher shot production rate (and a goal within the first two minutes), followed by an outburst of shot attempts from the Capitals for the remainder of the game. (See Islanders game data here).
The difference in this game was that the Capitals would quickly tie the game and then take a 2-1 lead before the midway point of the first period. The Capitals did all of their scoring in the final frame Friday night in Long Island. On Sunday, The Capitals led in shot attempts (CF) 49-33 for the game.
Shot Locations (From Money Puck)
Just as important as generating shot attempts, is the resultant location of those shots/scoring chances. As you can see, a large percentage of the Capitals chances came in the “high-danger” area.
The Capitals continue to pay for failed zone breakouts and turnovers in their own zone. On Sunday, Dmitry Orlov made an ill-advised pass from behind the Capitals goal that led to the Rangers first goal, just 45 seconds into the contest.
— Hockey Daily (@HockeyDaily365) March 3, 2019
The Rangers second goal of the game came on a failed zone exit, that led to a shot and a rebound score for New York.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 3, 2019
The Capitals first goal yielded to the Islanders on Friday night was also the result of a poor zone breakout. It’s fairly clear that issues still remain on the back-end, but things are getting better. The Capitals have 16 games to iron-out any remaining issues.
- The 2018-19 campaign marks the first time in Capitals franchise history in which the club has swept their season series vs. the Rangers.
- Andre Burakovsky gave the Caps a 2-1 lead. That was his fourth point (2g, 2a) in his last five games.
- Carl Hagelin’s goal was his first with the Capitals.
- Alex Ovechkin won the game in the shootout when Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev tossed his keeper stick in the path of Ovechkin’s shot.
The Capitals now return home to the DMV for a few days before departing for Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Capitals will face the Flyers Wednesday night.
By Jon Sorensen