Rangers Run Capitals, 5-2; Aliaksei Protas Scores, Dylan Strome Scores 19th Goal Of The Season

Photo: Twitter: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers, 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena. Dylan Strome scored his 19th goal of the season and Aliaksei Protas notched his 4th tally of the 2022-23 campaign in the loss. The defeat drops the Capitals record to 34-34-9 (77 points) on the season.


Darcy Kuemper (21-24-6, 2.75 GAA, .912 sv%) got the start in goal for the Capitals. Igor Shesterkin (34-13-7, 2.53 GAA, .914 sv%) got the nod for the visiting Rangers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Aliaksei Protas
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Craig Smith
Anthony Mantha — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Matt Irwin

Darcy Kuemper
Mitchell Gibson

Capitals goaltending prospect Mitchell Gibson was signed to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) prior to today’s game. Charlie Lindgren was out due to illness. T.J. Oshie and Trevor van Riemsdyk were out due to injury.


The Rangers opened the scoring with 6:43 remaining in the first frame. K’Andre Miller (9) notched the tally on a rebound following a Kuemper save on Vincent Trocheck.

The Rangers quickly made it 2-0 just over two minutes later. Alexis Lafreniere added the Rangers second tally at 15:19 of the first period.

That was it for the first frame. The Rangers led in five-on-five shot attempts, 13-11. The Capitals led in high-danger chances, 4-3 and xGF .75 to .61.


The Rangers made it 3-0 early in the middle period on Kaapo Kakko‘s 16th goal of the season, 60 seconds into the second period.

The Capitals finally answered with a tally from Dylan Strome (19) at 13:23 of the second period. Alex Ovechkin (31) and John Carlson (16) had the helpers.

And that was it for the second period, with the Rangers holding a 3-1 lead. The Rangers led in five-on-five shot attempts 16-15 in the middle frame and led 29-26 after two periods. The Capitals continued to lead in high-danger chances, 9-7. The Rangers lead in xGF 1.58 to 1.4 and faceoffs, 55-45%.


The Rangers stretched their lead to 4-1 on Vladimir Tarasenko‘s 17th goal of the season just 5:53 into the final frame.

The Capitals cut the Rangers lead to 4-2 on Aliaksei Protas’ fourth goal of the season at 11:44 of the third period. John Carlson (17) and Nicklas Backstrom (12) had the assists.

But the Rangers quickly answered with a power play goal to restore their three-goal lead. Mika Zibanejad Notched the Rangers fifth marker at 14:14.

Alex Ovechkin was assessed a double minor and 10-minute misconduct for a series illegal hits with the stick late in the game. He was upset over a previous hit up high.

That would be the final.


  • Dylan Strome scored his 19th goal of the season to cut the deficit to 3-1. With the goal, Strome (19g-39a–58p in 76 GP) has established a new single-season career high in points (previously 2018-19: 20g-37a–57p in 78 GP w/ Arizona & Chicago).
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded the primary assist on Strome’s goal, his 31st assist of the season. Ovechkin has recorded 12 points (6g, 6a) in his last 10 games.
  • John Carlson recorded the secondary assist on Strome’s goal, his 16th assist of the season. Carlson has recorded four points (1g, 3a) in five games since returning to the Capitals’ lineup on March 23.
  • Aliaksei Protas scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 4-2. Protas, who scored three goals in his rookie season in 2021-22, has established a new single-season career high in goals.
  • John Carlson recorded the primary assist on the Capitals’ second goal, his second assist of the game. Carlson’s 26 points (9g, 17a) in 35 games this season rank tied for second among Washington defensemen.
  • Nicklas Backstrom was credited with the secondary assist on Protas’ goal. Backstrom has recorded three points (1g, 2a) in his last five games.


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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22 Responses to Rangers Run Capitals, 5-2; Aliaksei Protas Scores, Dylan Strome Scores 19th Goal Of The Season

  1. Anonymous says:

    They were in the game, then they weren’t. Then they were, then not. Too inconsistent

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m genuinely confused by the officiating. They call Sheary for questionable interference and then ignore Ovi getting straight up elbowed in the face right in front of the linesman. Truly the most useless referees in all of sports.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sadly…that’s what usually happens when playoff teams meet non-playoff teams in April. Although it appears that the Caps (as a Team) are still trying…they just look resigned to their fate. It was nice to see some venting of their frustrations. Hopefully we’ll see more goals and a Win when they visit Montreal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another one bites the dust.

  7. KimRB says:

    Just going through the motions now.

    And why exactly is Keith Jones so butt hurt by the Capitals? For a former Cap, he’s awfully biased against us. Must have been something involving, or that led to, that trade to Colorado in 1996, that has caused him to act like the Capitals stood him up at the prom.

    Tank update: still in 11th place. Detroit, St. Louis and Vancouver can leapfrog the Caps by winning their games in hand. Philly can come to within 2 points. Blues are playing Boston now, the other teams play tonight.

    • Prevent Defense says:

      KimRB spot on: Keith Jones! Mr. “I hate the Caps.” I turn off the sound whenever KJ is on the microphone. He particularly likes to troll Tom Wilson. Wilson is a superior hockey player to anything Jones did, especially as a Cap.

      A toss-up between Pierre McGuire and Jones as the most irritating of all NHL announcers.

      In 2nd Period the TNT cameras panned the mezzanine suites to show a very frustrated Joe Beninati. I hope Joe and Craig come back for a few more seasons, and maybe a Caps Coach With A Clue

      • KimRB says:

        Joe and Locker are about to celebrate 30 years as a team, in 2024. I’ve listened to most broadcast teams in the NHL. The best is Josh Bogorad and Darryl Reaugh in Dallas. Beninati/Locker are about middle of the pack, but they’re enjoyable to listen to, because you can tell they genuinely like each other. The wisecracks and friendly insults don’t sound forced. I guess radio guy John Walton would replace Beninati, when he retires. I dunno who’ll replace Locker. Alan May or Brent Johnson? Zach Fisch, Bears radio guy would move up to the bigs, to replace Walton.

        Nobody is as bad as McGuire. “I’m telling ya, Doc, this Poodle de la Merde from Saint John in the QMJHL just flattened that guy like a pizza. And speaking of pizza, if you’re in Chicago go to Mamma Mia’s. And that reminds of the time when I was in Sault St. Marie, when Gretzky was in juniors, and Gordie Howe was sitting next to me and…… ”

        I still hear that voice in my nightmares

        • novafyre says:

          You’re right, Pits Pierre was the absolute worst. Hopefully he will never return to our airwaves. Or cables. Or however we get hockey games in the future.

          I don’t believe that NBCSW has anyone on hand who could replace Locker as color guy. Alan would dominate, Brent is not fluid enough, Karl isn’t polished enough yet.

          Interesting how in a city which wants to be sophisticated that we have such a folksy team calling our games. As you say, it’s almost as though we are eavesdropping on a couple of old friends sitting by the fire. At times though I do wish they were more informative and less chatty.

          • KimRB says:

            “I do wish they were more informative and less chatty.”

            Which is why they’re middle of the pack. I can’t count the times when I’m watching another team’s feed, and they’re talking about line matching, or telling me their sniper has new sticks, or who’s on a hot streak, and I’m thinking “They’re talking about useful hockey info here! Locker would be giggling over some stupid joke right now!”

            • novafyre says:

              Bally Sun has some segments on the business of hockey (taxes, visas) and details of hockey (sticks, skates). They have half hour docs on how players got started (actually went back with them to where they grew up), off the ice things that they are doing now (Bogo being a BBQ whiz), really so much more than just pregame, game, postgame. (Maybe that’s why Bally is bankrupt.) But I hope that when NBCSW rebrands this summer it gives us more.

              • KimRB says:

                If I can find some time, I’ll check out Bally Sun. Those profiles sound interesting. That’s a little covered area of hockey. We all know about the big contracts handed out, but when it comes to the money behind them, it’s mostly ignored, or not covered in depth.

                • novafyre says:

                  Just looked and although they air on Bally’s channel I can’t find them in the Bally apps. But I cast the net farther and did find the docs on the Bolts team video page at NHL dot com. Lightning Recharge and Bolts Beginnings.

                  • KimRB says:

                    Thank you! Now can you extend the day to 26 hours please? I’m trying to take in 5 CHL playoffs, Mirosnichenko’s MHL series, Geisser’s Swiss league, and the Bears and Stingrays, not to mention the big club. I’ve watched so much hockey lately, that when a bartender asked if I wanted ice, I said “No thanks, I’ll just have the Zamboni clean it off”

                    • novafyre says:

                      Love that answer. But games will begin to wind down and this could give you something to watch before September picks up. Hopefully they won’t be taking them down.

        • Anonymous says:

          I generally don’t want to say nice things about the Islanders, but their play by play guys are pretty good too. Not the most exciting but very fair to both sides unlike some other teams we could name (Carolina).

          • KimRB says:

            Steve Goldstein in Florida is one of the best kept secrets in the league, doing PxP. I’m surprised he’s stayed with such a mediocre franchise, that probably gets low ratings. Guess he likes the weather, and no income tax.

  8. GRin430 says:

    Another disjointed effort. Most passes off target. Limited effort in the board battles, particularly in the D zone. Poorly timed pinches by defensemen. Forwards again failing to track back and pick up the right guy to defend. Add in some soft goaltending and the Caps are just about mathematically done. I’m guessing that they will be officially eliminated by Thursday, or by next weekend for sure when FLA comes in to beat the Caps..

    I give them some credit as professionals for not completely tanking, but on the other hand, I wish they would just admit their fate and lose one (or 5) for the Connor!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Another stinker.

  10. hockeydruid says:

    Now Ovie and this team get frustrated and mad! LMAO!! Why not a month ago or even back in Dec? 5 games left in the season and now you are frustrated, sorry guys but you all did this to yourself with you bad play. With no rebuild until after Ovie gets his record and retires this is the hockey that this team will play for a long time. And for those that are worried about the refs remember that playoff teams often get calls while non playoff do not get them. Just hope that the owner and GM are happy with the mediocre product that they put on the ice and charge a fortune to come to the barn and see them “play”.

  11. James says:

    I was at the game yesterday. Tom Wilson is a player of the same cloth as Dale Hunter. He’s no superstar, but I can’t remember another player since Hunter that is so valuable to the Caps. He almost singlehandedly made the game competitive for long stretched. I’m curious why Backstrom wasn’t on the 5 on 3 Cap’s advantage. He’s still a premier passer.

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