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Rangers vs. Capitals: Pavelec Bests Grubauer in Battle of the Backups

NHL: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
  • The New York Rangers got back in the win column with a clutch 1-0 win versus the Washington Capitals in the shootout. The Blueshirts out shot the opposition for a change and finished with 37 shots, while the Capitals fired 30 on goal.
  • The game was tied 0-0 after regulation and featured goals by Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad in the shootout, and saves on T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin by Ondrej Pavelec.
  • Both Zuccarello and Zibanajed showed poise and patience; it was satisfying to watch the puck finally go in the net.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy 
  • Pavelec picked up his first shutout of the year in the win, going 30-for-30 and two-for-two in the shootout. He has played very well as of late and gave Henrik Lundqvist a much needed breather tonight. Here’s a look at his last three appearances:
  • Pavelec is now 3-4-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage, and 4.55 goals saved above average. If he continues to play at this level, it should convince Vigneault to start him more.
  • During the game Pavelec was forced to make some tough saves, including this one on Alex Ovechkin late in the third period.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Although both teams failed to score in the 65 minutes before the shootout, each had a number of opportunities to do so. Rick Nash had a couple, and for whatever reason he just couldn’t get a puck to go in.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • It is almost as if Nash is fighting off some black magic, because he is coming oh so close too often to not even slip one in.
  • He also looked good with Mika Zibanejad, and I was shocked when he failed to bury this glorious chance.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Prior to the game it was announced Vigneault was shaking up the lines and Pavel Buchnevich ended up on the fourth line.
  • The good news is that the demotion didn’t last long. The bad news is that Buchnevich only was moved up because Chris Kreider left the game with an injury. Nothing more was said than Kreider is out with the traditional “upper-body” injury, and more information would be shared tomorrow.
  • J.T. Miller had a pretty solid game going up Ovechkin. He showed off some physicality and also forced Ovechkin to take a penalty in an attempt to slow him down.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • Additionally Miller had a nice chance in overtime courtesy of Mats Zuccarello, but it was one of the many shots pushed aside by Philipp Grubauer.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • The Rangers are now 20-13-4 with 44 points and remain in the first wild card spot. They trail the first place New Jersey Devils by five points, the second place Capitals and the third place Columbus Blue Jackets by three points.
  • Thursday is an off day for the Rangers and the team is back in action on Friday versus. the Detroit Red Wings at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
  • On that note, I will leave you with a GIF of Henrik Lundqvist looking completely suave, relaxed, and well rested. Odds are he will be in goal next game.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy