Capitals Fall To Rangers 4-2, Alex Ovechkin Scores Goal 709, Passes Mike Gartner

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers 4-2 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The loss drops the Capitals record to 6-2-3 (15 points) on the season. They remain one point out of first place in the East Division, behind Boston and Philadelphia .


Vitek Vanecek (5-1-2, 2.94 GAA, .913 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Igor Shesterkin (2-2-1, 2.41 GAA, .906 sv%) got the start in goal for the Rangers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

The Rangers struck first with a redirected goal from Ryan Strome (3) just 1:31 into the contest.

And that would be it for the first frame. The Rangers led in shot attempts 16-13 and shots on goal 15-8 for the first period. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play.

The Rangers would make it 2-0 midway through the middle frame with a goal from Anthony Bitetto (1) at 9:15 of the second period.

The Capitals would tie the game with a tally from Carl Hagelin at 18:57 of the second period.

The Capitals trailed 2-1 after two periods. The Capitals led in  shot attempts 17-12 in the middle frame. Shot attempts were tied 30-30 after two periods.

The Rangers would reinstate their two-goal lead 7:55 into the final frame with a goal from Ryan Strome (4), his second tally of the game.

Alex Ovechkin would respond with third goal of the season at 11:01 0f the final frame. Nicklas Backstrom (9) had the lone assist. The goal gives Ovechkin 709 for his career, passing Mike Gartner for 7th on the all-time list.

The Rangers would add an empty net goal for the 4-2 final.

The Capitals are back in action on Sunday at noon when they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop is noon.


  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 of 30 shots faced for a .900 game save percentage.
  • The Capitals were 0 for 4 and the Rangers 0 for 3 on the power play.
  • Capitals won the battle at the dot 54-46%.
  • Alex Ovechkin skated 27:17 in this game.
  • Rangers led in blocks 18-9.
  • Rangers led in hits 20-17.
  • Capitals led in shots on goal 33-31.
  • Capitals led in shot attempts 46-29.


  • Alex Ovechkin scores his 709th goal in his 1,159th career game. Ovechkin’s career 0.61 goals per game average is the highest among players with at least 700 career goals.
  • Alex Ovechkin’s goal tonight marked the first goal he has scored against Rangers goaltender Igor Shestyorkin. Shestyorkin is the 143rd goaltender Ovechkin has scored a goal against in his career.
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded 27:17 time on ice tonight, marking the 10th-highest time on ice total in his career for a game that ended in regulation.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded the primary assist on Alex Ovechkin’s goal. Backstrom has recorded an assist on 263 of Ovechkin’s 709 career goals (37.1%), the most of any player. Of Backstrom’s 263 assists on Ovechkin goals, 131 of them are primary assists.
  • Backstrom has recorded 14 points (5g, 9a) in 11 games this season, which leads the Capitals.
  • Carl Hagelin scored his first goal of the season to cut New York’s lead to 2-1. Hagelin’s 55.9 goals for percentage (76 for, 60 against) at even strength over the last three seasons ranks tied for 48th among NHL forwards with at least 100 games played.
  • Michael Sgarbossa earned the secondary assist on Hagelin’s goal, marking his second assist in five games this season.
  • Garnet Hathaway recorded the primary assist on Hagelin’s goal, marking his second straight game with an assist. Hathaway has recorded five points (2g, 3a) in 11 games this season.


Alex Ovechkin and Carl Hagelin

By Jon Sorensen


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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