The New York Rangers came out of the Holiday break with something to prove and they picked up two huge points this evening against the Washington Capitals. In a surprising turn of events, neither Braden Holtby nor Henrik Lundqvist started in this game. That left Ondrej Pavelec and Philip Grubauer in between the pipes, and boy did both goaltenders put on a show.
All throughout regulation both teams continued to trade chances at either end of the ice. These goaltenders weren’t having any of it and they had an answer for everything that came their way. The Rangers put together quite an impressive third period where they registered 18 shots on goal, but again, came up empty handed. That left this game to be decided in the overtime period, where both teams continued to go on the attack in the offensive zone.
The Rangers best chances of the overtime period came during the closing seconds, when they were handed a power play opportunity. Mika Zibanejad wound up ringing a shot off of the post in the closing seconds, and this game headed to the shootout. Mats Zuccarello got the scoring started for the Rangers in the first round and Mika Zibanejad followed suit to give the Rangers the an early 2-0 advantage.
Alex Ovechkin came up for the Capitals in the third round, and Ondrej Pavelec forced the shot wide to secure the two points for the Rangers. Coming out of the break, this is exactly the type of game the Rangers needed to get back on track. Unfortunately, though, Chris Kreider was injured in the win and his status is still up in the air at the moment.
The Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before their meeting against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. Then, it’s off to the 2018 Bridgestone Winter Classic!