Photo: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. The Capitals are now five points ahead of the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division, though the Islanders currently have five games in hand on the Capitals. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 27 saves in the loss, the Capitals’ first to Rangers in eight games.
Capitals’ Lineup at Rangers
Forward Beck Malenstyn, who was recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Wednesday, made his NHL debut and center Michael Sgarbossa, who was also recalled, appeared in his first NHL game in two seasons against the Rangers. Center Lars Eller was elevated to the second-line with Nicklas Backstrom (lower-body injury) out on Wednesday. Forward Garnet Hathaway served the first game of a three-game suspension for spitting on Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson in the Capitals’ 5-2 win over the Ducks on Monday and forward Carl Hagelin missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury.
Center Mika Zibanejad missed his 10th consecutive game for the Rangers with an upper-body injury.
The Capitals led 12-9 in hits, had three giveaways while the Rangers had six, and won 63% of the draws in the first.
The Rangers led 5-1 in blocked shots and 6-2 in takeaways after one.
Each team fired 10 shots on goal while neither had a full power-play opportunity in the opening frame.
Forward Artemi Panarin ripped a wrister from the left circle past the glove of goaltender Braden Holtby, who was screened by defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler, to make it 1-0 Rangers on the power-play 1:14 into the second.
The Capitals led 24-19 in shots, including 14-9 in the second, 22-19 in blocked shots, and had six giveaways while the Rangers has seven through two. They didn’t convert on their lone power-play opportunity in the first 40 minutes.
The Rangers led 11-3 in blocked shots and 9-7 in takeaways after two. They scored on their only power-play in the first two periods.
Panarin potted another power-play goal from the left dot after getting the puck in loose coverage to make it 2-0 3:57 into the period.
Forward Pavel Buchnevich finished a two-on-one with center Filip Chytil into a wide open net from the crease 23 seconds later to expand the lead to 3-0.
Center Evgeny Kuznetsov wristed one from the left dot past the blocker of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on the power-play to get the Capitals within one with 12:35 left.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 21, 2019
Forward Brett Howden beat Holtby by the blocker all alone in the slot after Buchnevich found him from the wall to make it 4-1 with 6:26 left.
The Capitals led 29-27 in hits and won 57% of the draws. They went 1-for-3 on the power play.
The Rangers led 12-7 in third-period shots, 13-7 in blocked shots, 12-9 in takeaways, and had only 12 giveaways while the Capitals had 10. They scored on two of their three power-play opportunities.
Each team posted 31 shots.
The Capitals are next in action on Saturday afternoon when they host the Vancouver Canucks. NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage from Capital One Arena beginning at 12:30 PM ET.
By Harrison Brown