WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: Marcus Johansson #90 of the Washington Capitals scores a goal against the New York Rangers during the first period at Verizon Center on December 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Rangers had a great start to the first period, and the Brian Boyle, John Mitchell, and Brandon Dubinsky line went right to work. For the first half of the first period, the Rangers were all over the Capitals. However, with some quick changes of events, the Capitals were able to get on the board first.
Marcus Johansson was able to pick up the loose puck in front of the net, off of the initial shot coming from Jeff Halpern. Michael Del Zotto created this play with a lazy turnover at the blue line, and the Capitals converted on his mistake. Just under ten minutes later, the Rangers were able to fight back off of a blocked shot by Ryan Callahan.
The shot by Carlson was blocked by Callahan which sprung Dubinsky and Mitchel on a 2-on-1. Brandon Dubinsky was unable to make the pass, so he fired it high over the shoulder of Tomas Vokoun. Even Vokoun was stunned by the shot, as he barely reacted to the shot, and the game was tied 1-1.
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The Rangers came out with a very poor performance in the second period, and were outplayed by the Capitals big time. The Capitals were beating the Rangers to every loose puck, and were also very physical. Halfway through the second, the Capitals struck once more on a tip-in coming from Troy Brouwer. Again, a failed attempt to clear the zone lead to this goal, and the Capitals took a 2-1 lead.
Just three minutes later, Alexander Semin converted on yet another Ranger turnover coming from Brad Richards. Richards attempted to weave his wave into the Capitals zone, but was denied by Alexander Ovechkin. Nicklas Backstrom made a quick outlet pass to the streaking Alexander Semin, who finished it off with a nifty backhand move.
The Rangers came out with some life in the third period, but were still unable to get past of the Capitals defense. After numerous power play opportunities the Rangers finally were able to convert, curiosity of Ryan Callahan. However, after looking at the replay, Callahan redirected it into the net with a distinct kicking motion, and the goal was called off. After another failed power play attempt, the Rangers were given yet another opportunity to get back into the game.
The power play went unanswered just like the entire game, and the Rangers ran out of gas. Alexander Semin would put the nail in the coffin with his second goal of the evening. Alex Ovechkin was credited with the assist which set up Semin's blast from the face-off circle.
It was an overall terrible game on all aspects of the game, and the Rangers got the short end of the stick in this one. The Rangers will be back in action Friday night against the Florida Panthers, their final meeting before the NHL Winter Classic.