The New York Rangers played 55 minutes of great hockey tonight, but tossed away their one-goal lead late in the game against the Washington Capitals. New York did an excellent job of shutting down Washington’s attack for a majority of the net, and then Alex Ovechkin arrived in the third period to take over the game. Alexandar Georgiev had a relatively light workload with the Rangers stellar defensive play, but gave up two goals in the final minutes of the game.
Artemiy Panarin (8) - Ryan Strome (13) PPG - 16:42
The Rangers were playing great hockey throughout the opening period of play, and they were eventually rewarded with a late power play opportunity. A point shot through traffic by Adam Fox wound up deflecting off of the post, and landed right on the tape of Ryan Strome. Rather than looking to shoot, Strome elected to feed a hard pass across the slot line to Artemiy Panarin. The Breadman was able to step into a heavy one-timer inside the left faceoff circle, and the puck just barely trickled over the goal line. Since returning to the lineup, Panarin has registered three goals and four assists, while riding a four-game point streak.
Alex Ovechkin (13) - Evgeny Kuznetsov (10) & Justin Schultz (12) - 13:18
Prior to allowing the goal, the Rangers had only allowed a single shot on goal from the Capitals throughout the opening 13 minutes of the period. However, Washington was able to get bodies to the front of the net and they registered the tying goal at the 13:18 mark of the third period. Alex Ovechkin picked up his 13th goal of the season as he located a loose puck in the crease and slammed it into the empty net. The initial shot by Justin Schultz appeared to be going wide, but deflected off of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s skate and landed right in the crease.
Alex Ovechkin (14) - John Carlson (20) & Zdeno Chara (7) - 16:27
In nearly identical fashion, the Capitals were able to jump out to their first and only lead of the evening with under four minutes remaining in regulation. Alex Ovechkin scored his second of the night right in front of the net once again, and if you weren’t watching this game at live, you would have thought it was the replay of the first goal. Alexandar Georgiev appeared to lose his net again after turning aside a shot from John Carlson, and the puck dropped right in front of the net. With Georgiev stretching back to make the save, Alex Ovechkin was able to backhand the puck with no coverage in front, and gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead.
That’s a tough, tough loss with how well the Rangers played throughout the game. As previously mentioned, the Capitals only had a single shot on goal with under seven minutes remaining in the game and looked dead in the water. However, all Alex Ovechkin needed was an inch of space in coverage and he made the Rangers pay twice on the scoreboard.
Thankfully for the Rangers, they will have to forget about this game pretty quickly as they turn right back around and play the Capitals against tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.