Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1 at Capital One Arena on Saturday afternoon. The loss kept the Capitals tied with the Philadelphia Flyers, who have two games in hand on the Capitals, and New York Islanders, who have played the same number of games as the Capitals, for second place in the East Division standings. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 20 saves in the loss, his 13th consecutive start.
Capitals’ Lines vs. Rangers
The Capitals made no line changes from their 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba missed his second straight game with a broken thumb.
Forward Chris Kreider buried a rebound in front of Vanecek into a wide open net after forward Artemi Panarin was robbed from above the left circle to make it 1-0 Rangers 14:57 into the game.
The Capitals led 8-6 in shots, 10-5 in hits, 4-3 in blocked shots, and did not score on one power play through 20 minutes.
The Rangers led 3-2 in takeaways, won 59% of the draws, and converted on one of two power-play opportunities in the first.
Each team was credited with one giveaway during the first period.
Forward Alexis Lafreniere backhanded one on the rebound in front of Vanecek after forward Artemi Panarin fed him from the half-wall to make it 2-0 with 2:16 to go in the second.
Center Ryan Strome let it fly from afar and floated one past Vanecek glove-side through a screen after defenseman Ryan Lindgren fed him from up top to extend the Rangers’ lead to three with 1:17 remaining.
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov squeaked one past the right post of goaltender Igor Shesterkin after breaking out of a board battle along the wall and weaving past Rangers center Mika Zibanejad to get the Capitals on the board with 38.2 seconds left.
Orly SCOARRRRR pic.twitter.com/kttxxOFlS9
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 20, 2021
The Capitals led 16-11 in hits, 9-6 in blocked shots, and failed to score on two power plays through 40 minutes.
The Rangers led 13-11 in second-period shots, had two giveaways while the Capitals had four, won 57% of the draws, and converted on one of three power plays in the first two periods.
Each team recorded 19 shots and five takeaways through two.
Zibanejad added salt to the wound with a shorthanded empty-netter from center ice to make it 4-1 with 2:12 left.
The Capitals led 28-24 in shots, including 9-5 in the third period, 9-6 in takeaways, 19-12 in hits, 13-12 in blocked shots, and failed to score on four power plays.
The Rangers had two giveaways while the Capitals had five, won 57% of the draws, and converted on one of five power plays.
The Capitals host the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena on Sunday night at 7 PM ET. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NBCSN nationally.
By Harrison Brown