The New York Rangers picked up two huge points in the standings this evening as they rallied with five unanswered goals against the Washington Capitals. Artemiy Panarin added a goal and two assists, while Adam Fox scored the go-ahead goal at the 6:32 mark of the third period. Igor Shesterkin was phenomenal in goal once again for the Rangers as he single-handedly kept New York afloat early in the game.
T.J. Oshie (9) - Nicklas Backstrom (24) & John Carlson (22) PPG - 2:23
New York had trouble finding their legs early in the game and as a result, they were shorthanded just 1:42 into the game. Under a minute into the man-advantage, the Capitals were able to capitalize on a quick passing play from below the goal line. The quick puck movement kept the Rangers moving and that eventually opened up a passing lane through the middle of the ice. Nicklas Backstrom was able to find T.J. Oshie inside the high slot, and Oshie absolutely wired a one-timer past Igor Shesterkin.
Nic Dowd (7) - Garnet Hathaway (8) & Brenden Dillon (9) - 4:22
Nearly two minutes later, the Rangers found themselves down by a pair of goals on the scoreboard. Washington was able to get heavy traffic in front of the net, and they were able to jam home the loose puck. Nic Dowd was eventually credited with the goal after the Capitals have four clean whacks at the puck, and it just barely slipped over the goal line. The goal was reviewed momentarily by the on-ice officials, but was quickly ruled a good goal.
Filip Chytil (6) - Unassisted - 15:36
The Rangers needed some sort of life after their miserable start to the game, and Filip Chytil provided just that. Chytil made an excellent read at his own blue line to take the puck, and generate a wide open breakaway opportunity. With plenty of time and space, Chytil made a quick move back to his forehand and rifled the puck just inside the far post. Vitek Vanecek was unable to stretch out far enough to make the save, and the Rangers were back within a single goal.
Kaapo Kakko (5) - Ryan Strome (22) & Artemiy Panarin (22) - 4:10
Still searching for the tying goal, the Rangers kept pushing the pace and finally forced Washington in another costly mistake. Artemiy Panarin was able to pick off an intended pass by Zdeno Chara, and transitioned the play into a 3-on-2 rush the other way. Panarin found Ryan Strome cutting down the right boards and that drew two additional defenders over with the pass. That left Kaapo Kakko wide open at the top of the crease for an easy tap-in to tie up the game at two apiece.
Adam Fox (4) - Artemiy Panarin (23) & Ryan Lindgren (10) - 6:32
New York was able to keep pressuring the Capitals and just over two minutes after tying the game, they jumped out in front. Adam Fox was able to find some open space while carrying the puck, and challenged the Capitals in the high slot. Fox was able to evade the backcheck by Alex Ovechkin and floated a seeing-eye shot on his backhand. Vitek Vanecek was unable to react to the perfect placed shot, and the Rangers took their first and only lead of the evening.
Artemiy Panarin (9) - Brendan Smith (4) - 15:41
Hanging onto their one-goal lead late in the third period, the Rangers desperately needed an insurance marker to calm the nerves. That’s where Artemiy Panarin entered the fray by going undetected in the neutral zone and breaking free on a breakaway. Brendan Smith made a perfect outlet pass from behind his own goal line, and caught Panarin in stride. The Breadman made easy work of the Capitals goalie with a slick move to his backhand, and improved the Rangers’ lead to two goals.
Pavel Buchnevich (14) - Ryan Lindgren (11) SHG - 19:25
The game was far from over with the amount of firepower the Capitals had on the ice, but the Rangers did an excellent job of keeping the play to the outside. Thankfully, the Rangers caught a lucky bounce with a shot off the post and were able to gain possession. Ryan Lindgren quickly got the puck up ice to Pavel Buchnevich, who iced the game with an empty net, shorthanded goal.
The start to the game was less than ideal for the Rangers and while it looked as if it was going to be a long night, New York flipped the script. They did a great job of forcing the Capitals into uncomfortable plays in tight situations and were able to capitalize on various counter attacks through the neutral zone. Igor Shesterkin played a large part in this game by keep the Rangers above the water early in the first period. This game could have easily slipped away, but New York showed great mental toughness to stick with their gameplan.
Following tonight’s big win over the Capitals, the Rangers will head right back out on the road for a two-game set against the Buffalo Sabres starting on Thursday evening.