Capitals Shut Out New York, 4-0, Move Into Third In Metropolitan Divison; Gustafsson Gets Third Multi-Point Effort In Five Games

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals blanked the New York Rangers by a score of 4-0 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. The win, the Capitals’ fifth-straight and 10th in their last 11 games (10-1-0), lifted Washington one point ahead of New York (who have a game in hand) and Pittsburgh Penguins (three) in addition to two clear of the New York Islanders (one) for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in the shutout.

Capitals’ Lines at New York

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Anthony Mantha
Marcus Johansson — Lars Eller — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Matt Irwin

Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: LW Joe Snively, D Lucas Johansen

Injured: D Martin Fehervary (lower-body, missed 11th straight game, out day-to-day); RW Connor Brown (ACL, 33rd, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 37th, indefinite); RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 37th, indefinite); C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 37th, indefinite); LW Beck Malenstyn (finger, 26th, week-to-week); RW T.J. Oshie (upper-body, fourth, day-to-day); D John Carlson (upper-body, first, indefinite)

With Carlson out, Van Riemsdyk moved up in the lineup while Alexeyev drew in. Johansen was recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears prior to the game.

New York’s Lines

Artemi Panarin — Mika Zibanejad — Vitaly Kravtsov
Alexis Lafreniere — Filip Chytil — Kaapo Kakko
Chris Kreider — Vincent Trocheck — Jimmy Vesey
Barclay Goodrow — Johnny Brodzinski — Julien Gauthier

Ryan Lindgren — Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller — Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur — Brayden Schnieder

Igor Shesterkin
Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: LW Sammy Blais, D Libor Hajek

Injured: N/A


First Period

Scoring

8:44, 1-0 Washington (PPG): Kuznetsov’s wrist shot from the top of the right dot was stopped by the shoulder of Shesterkin before Johansson won a battle with Trouba in front of the net and got a stick on the rebound in the crease after the puck went off of Trouba on a five-on-three. Gustafsson, who leads NHL defensemen in scoring over the last 10 days, extended his point-streak to five (five goals, eight points) with a secondary assist. The goal marked the Capitals’ third five-on-three goal this season, which is tied for the NHL lead. Kuznetsov extended his point-streak to three games (three assists, four points).

Shots: 13-8 New York

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 68% of the faceoffs, scored on one of their two power plays, and had two giveaways while New York tallied four. New York led 8-7 in hits and 5-3 in takeaways.


Second Period

Scoring

17:01, 2-0: Sheary led a two-on-one rush with Ovechkin on his wing, passed it back to Strome, got it back, shot it off of the left pad of Shesterkin, and Gustafsson pinched in and fired one past the glove from the slot. New York challenged for goaltender interference but lost. Strome earned his fourth 20-assist campaign. Gustafsson has three multi-point efforts in his last five games. Sheary has recorded three assists in his last two games.

While falling, Shesterkin robbed Johansson with the glove by the right post in front after Sheary fed him down low.

19:24, 3-0: Eller stepped in, curled, dragged, and fired a wrister high blocker from the slot after getting a pass by Mantha in the neutral zone. The goal marked Eller’s 362nd career point (160 goals), which moves him into sole possession of second place on the NHL’s all-time points list among Denmark-born players (Nikolaj Ehlers: 361 points). Eight of Mantha’s 12 assists have been primary.

Shots: 23-20 Washington (15-7 in second)

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 60% of the faceoffs, scored on one of their three power plays, led 9-4 in blocked shots, and had six giveaways while New York was credited with 11. Each team tallied 14 hits. New York, who had two power-play opportunities, led 8-7 in hits and 8-3 in takeaways.


Third Period

Scoring

16:58, 4-0 (SHG, ENG): Sheary blocked a one-timer by Panarin from up top after an attempted feed by Zibanejad from the right dot, reached for the puck, and sent it down the ice into an empty cage. With two points tonight, Sheary has recorded his fourth multi-point game of the season.

Shots: 32-30 New York (12-7 in third)


Other Notable Stats: Washington won 56% of the faceoffs, led 16-5 in blocked shots and 19-18 in hits, and earned seven giveaways while New York was on the hook for 14. New York, who had five power-play opportunities, led 11-7 in takeaways.

Washington tied a franchise record with sixth straight road win, a mark established in 1984 and matched once since in 2011. Washington has outscored their opponents 26-10 during their six-game road win streak (4.33 goals-per-game, 1.66 goals-against per game).

The Capitals are the only team in the NHL to have two goaltenders with 10 wins (Charlie Lindgren: 10 wins). They improved to 4-2-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents and 20-1-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.

Kuemper has posted a record of 5-0-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average, a .949 save percentage and two shutouts in his last seven starts, dating back to Nov. 23.

Next game: Thursday vs. Ottawa Senators (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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14 Responses to Capitals Shut Out New York, 4-0, Move Into Third In Metropolitan Divison; Gustafsson Gets Third Multi-Point Effort In Five Games

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Let’s hope Jensen is okay. There was blood drawn against him in one of the ending PK’s. Sheary also seemed to be limping after his empty net goal. Nothing like a pyrrhic penalty kill that was successful in its objective but costly.

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    This team is REALLY playing well. Stats say top 3 team in the league since mid-November, and I believe it!

    • KimRB says:

      There’s been a lot of criticism thrown at PL, much of it justified, but I don’t think anyone can deny he’s got the boys playing the right way. The 1-3-1 defensive scheme is working beautifully, and everyone is buying in. You can win a lot of hockey games when you have that combination. So good job PL

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who needs high-dollar players?!

  4. hockeydruid says:

    I sat down this even with a Ledos pizza and cold beer and prepared to watch the game and hope that the Caps didnt get embarrassed. Wow was I ever happy that I was wrong. This has to be one of the bet games that this team has played this year! Keep Wilson, Backy. and all the others on IR off the ice and lets see what these guys can do!! of the next 10 games 7 are home games….time to make some hay guys!

  5. dwgie26 says:

    its the system. Lavi’s system. This is why the guy is a cup winner and known for turning teams around. Credit to the players who have now figured it out and playing it right. Just a ton of fun to watch right now because they are always in the right places.

    Biggest surprise to me has been Gustafsson. He has fit in extremely well once he got used to the system.

    • KimRB says:

      I agree. The 1-3-1 defensive strategy is working perfectly. Just don’t peak too early! Save some of this great play for April and……(knock wood) later

  6. Anonymous says:

    How bad was Irwin in this game. Incredible they got a shutout with the way he played. Need someone to get healthy fast or play LuJo.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

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