After coming off of a strong performance against the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers rallied back this evening in Washington, and defeated the Capitals by a final score of 4-2. Henrik Lundqvist, who caught a ton of heat for his giveaway leading to the winning goal last game, was simply sensational tonight. If there’s one thing we learned over his career, it’s that you don’t piss off Henrik Lundqvist. More often than not, he comes back better than ever before, and we saw that on full display tonight.
Unlike the last few games, the Rangers had a relatively slow start to this game, and as a result, the Capitals were able to take early advantage. Just 1:33 into the game, Lars Eller was able to post up in front of Lundqvist, and redirected Brooks Orpik’s point shot to put the Capitals up 1-0.
Nearing the end of the period, the Capitals cashed in yet again, and this time around it was Alex Ovechkin from the right faceoff circle. While it was Ovechkin bearing down on him, Marc Staal was beat pretty badly on the play, and Ovechkin rifled one past Lundqvist to make it a 2-0 game.
Heading into the second period, the Rangers looked to turn the momentum back in their favor, and they did just that two minutes in. Brandon Pirri sniped home his second goal of the season, and beat Braden Holtby over the glove to bring the Rangers back within a goal.
The Rangers wouldn’t stop just there though, and they were able to add on another pair of goals to take their first lead of the evening. Within a matter of three minutes, Jimmy Vesey put on an absolute clinic and chipped in his second and third goals of the season.
Vesey’s first goal came on the power play, which came off of a deflection in front before Rick Nash shoveled a quick pass over to the right post. Vesey was in perfect position to open up for a shot, and slammed home the pass to bring the Rangers even. Shortly after that, Vesey came right back down the ice on his next shift and burned Karl Alzner to the outside for his second goal of the game.
With the scoring depth the Rangers have on offense this year, it’s no surprise that they were able to claw their way back into this game. Following an explosive second period, the Rangers looked to finish off the way they start in the second period. While it would have been nice to see the Rangers pressure the Capitals in the offensive zone a bit more, they did an excellent job of shutting down the Capitals in the third period.
While some of that is due to Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh was an absolute tank the entire game, but most notably during the final 20 minutes. After some late pressure by the Capitals, the Rangers finally iced the game with six second remaining, and Rick Nash tallied his second goal of the year on the empty net.
The Rangers could easily be 5-0 to start the year if they were able to catch some puck luck against the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. Either way, the Rangers have had some really strong 60 minute efforts, and hopefully they can sustain that play moving forward.
Following the win tonight, the Rangers will be right back in action tomorrow night as they welcome in the Arizona Coyotes to Madison Square Garden.