The New York Rangers hung on to a 3-2 lead late, and pulled out a victory against the Washington Capitals, on Sunday afternoon. Henrik Lundqvist was a star in net once again this afternoon, turning away some late pressure by the Washington Capitals.
After an even start to the first period, we had the first goal of the game just 11 minutes in. Ryan Callahan shoveled a backhand from the side of the net, over the sprawling Michael Neuvirth to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Brad Richards made a great first pass out to Anton Stralman, who later found Callahan to the side of the net. The Rangers have been connecting for some pretty goals over the last two games.
However, the lead only lasted until the 6:31 mark of the second period as Alexander Semin ripped a slap shot over the blocker of Henrik Lundqvist. Jason Chimera used his outside speed to gain the zone on the Rangers, and left a nifty drop pass for Semin.
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Just seven minutes later, Ryan McDonagh tallied for his fifth goal of the season, with an incredible toe drag move around Troy Brouwer. Although, after McDonagh let the shot go it appeared as if he knee gave out and he fell awkwardly to the ice. He was helped off a short time later by the medical staff.
As NBC went to a TV timeout, the entire Rangers fan base created a prayer circle for McDonagh. However, after returning to action, McDonagh was right back on the ice to take the next face-off. The toughness this team has just amazes me. Dan Girardi also took a hard shot off the side of the helmet earlier in the game, and was unaffected by it.
The Rangers held a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission, courtesy of Ryan McDonagh who scored a pretty goal. At the start of the third period, Artem Anisimov took a lazy neutral zone penalty when he took down one of the Capitals along the bench. On the penalty kill, Brandon Dubinsky made a great effort to chip the puck out and send the Rangers on a 2-on-1.
Alex Ovechkin was the lone defender back for the Capitals as Dubinsky sent the cross-ice pass over the Brandon Prust. Prust finished it off with a beautiful one knee one-timer that found it's way through the five-hole of Neuvirth. That goal was Prust's first since scoring shorthanded against his former team, Calgary, earlier in the season.
However, this game didn't end easily for the Rangers as John Carlson blasted a slap shot past Henrik Lundqvist with under 2:30 to play in the game. The Capitals applied some late pressure with the goaltender pulled, but Lundqvist and Rangers were able to fight off the pressure. They would go on to win 3-2, and sweep the weekend series against the Flyers, and Capitals.
The Rangers will be on Boston on Tuesday to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins. This game will be another big test for the Rangers, as the last game between these two came right down to the wire.