The New York Rangers have their first winning streak of the season as they defeated the Washington Capitals by a final score of 4-2. Artemiy Panarin lit up the boxscore once again as he registered a three-assist night to give New York their second consecutive victory. David Quinn continued to roll the hot hand in goal tonight and Igor Shesterkin picked up his third straight win with a 31-save effort.
Ryan Strome (3) - Adam Fox (6) & Artemiy Panarin (8) - 1:41
With the Rangers having a tough test ahead of them against the Washington Capitals, they wasted very little time getting on the scoreboard. Just a minute and 41 seconds after the opening faceoff, the Rangers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead courtesy of Ryan Strome’s third of the season. Adam Fox picked up the primary assist after lofting a shot through traffic as Strome gained body position in front of the defenseman. Strome was able to completely fool Vitek Vancek by changing the direction of the shot, and gave New York the all important first lead of the evening.
Anthony Bitetto (1) - Kevin Rooney (1) - 9:15
New York was able to double up their lead midway through the second period as Long Island native Anthony Bitetto notched his first goal as a Blueshirt. The sequence itself was pretty impressive as Bitetto jumped up to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone and just never quit on the play. He absorbed a hit below the goal line, pivoted to the middle of the ice and shoveled a backhand towards the net. Vancek seemed stunned that Bitetto was able to break free through the slot, and New York took a commanding 2-0 lead.
Carl Hagelin (1) - Garnett Hathaway (3) & Michael Sgarbossa (2) - 18:57
With just barely a minute left in the second period, Washington was able to jump back into the game off of a fluke bounce in front of the net. Garnett Hathaway’s initial shot was kicked to the corner by Igor Shesterkin but Carl Hagelin was able to jump on the loose puck. Hagelin’s ensuing shot bounced around in the crease before hopping over Shesterkin’s glove as he attempted to catch it, and it rolled over the goal line to make it a 2-1 game.
Ryan Strome (4) - Artemiy Panarin (9) & Kaapo Kakko (1) - 7:55
Despite giving up a late second period goal, the Rangers came out with a strong opening to the final 20 minutes of play. Kaapo Kakko was able to generate a 2-on-1 rush the other way after making defensive play, and chipped the puck up to Artemiy Panarin. Ryan Strome and Panarin combined on a filthy give-and-go play as they came in on goal, and Strome tapped home his second of the night.
Alex Ovechkin (3) - Nicklas Backstrom (9) - 11:01
Alex Ovechkin temporarily halted everyone’s excitement as he absolutely sniped home his third of the season. The goal came right off of an offensive zone faceoff win, and Ovechkin was able to collect the puck off of the tie up in the circle. Igor Shesterkin came out to challenge the shot but nothing is stopping Alex Ovechkin when he gets to pick his spot from in close. The goal set the Rangers back on their heels a bit as they were tasked with hanging on for the final nine minutes of regulation time.
Pavel Buchnevich (3) - Mika Zibanejad (2) & Artemiy Panarin (10) ENG - 19:33
New York was able to keep a majority of the play to the perimeter in their own defensive zone and they eventually iced the game with an empty net goal. Artemiy Panarin picked up his third assist of the evening as the trio of Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich all touched the puck before it ended up in the back of Washington’s net.
Overall, it was a solid defensive effort by the Rangers for a full 60 minutes. While the Rangers did give up 33 total shots, they limited the quality chances in front of their own net to stifle Washington’s attack. The offense finally started to click consistently in the offensive zone, and they scored timely goals when they needed them the most.
Following tonight’s impressive win over the Capitals, the Rangers will be off until Monday night when they host the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils has been postponed with the Devils being shutdown for the next week due to COVID-19 protocols.