Rangers vs Capitals: Rangers Battle Back But Fall to Washington 6-5 in Overtime

Following a 5-2 rout of the New Jersey Devils yesterday afternoon, the New York Rangers built on that performance with a high scoring battle with the Washington Capitals. However,  despite tying the game during the final minute, the Rangers ultimately fell to the Capitals in overtime. Evgeny Kuznetsov ended the game after the Rangers were caught out during a long shift in the defensive end.

1-0 Rangers
Chris Kreider (26) - Jimmy Vesey (17) & Mika Zibanejad (35) - 0:21 1st Period

The Rangers started this game off with a bang and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 21 seconds into regulation time. Jimmy Vesey created the entire goal with a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass over to Chris Kreider, who tapped the puck home off of Phoenix Copley.

1-1 Tie
Nicklas Backstrom (14) - John Carlson (47) & T.J. Oshie (20) - 18:42 1st Period

Closing in on the final minute of the first period, the Capitals finally answered back with Nicklas Backstrom’s 14th goal of the season. As pretty as the Rangers first goal was, the Capitals decided to one-up them. John Carlson was able to find Backstrom cutting to the back post, and fed a perfect feed from just inside the blue line. Backstrom got just enough of a deflection on the puck and chipped it under the crossbar.

2-1 Capitals
Michal Kempny (6) - Brett Connolly (18) & Andre Burakovsky (11) - 19:03 1st Period

Nearly 20 seconds later, the Capitals jumped out in front with a 2-1 lead as Michal Kempny beat Henrik Lundqvist from the high slot. Neal Pionk wound up drifting up the boards while puck watching, and that allowed Kempny to slide into the high slot completely undetected. Brett Connolly fed a quick pass out to Kempny, and even though he didn’t get everything behind his shot, he beat Lundqvist through the pads.

3-1 Capitals
Tom Wilson (17) - Jakub Vrana (20) & Lars Eller (20) - 5:09 2nd Period

The Capitals wouldn’t stop just there as they added on another early second period goal and extended their lead to 3-1. This time around it was Tom Wilson, who capped off a tic-tac-toe play on the power play, and bombed a shot past Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers were unable to adjust their coverage as the puck was worked down to Vrana, and the Capitals took full advantage.

3-2 Capitals
Brady Skjei (5) - Connor Brickley (2) & Lias Andersson (4) - 18:18 2nd Period

With under two minutes to go in the second period, the Rangers made things interesting as a harmless shot by Brady Skjei found the back of the net. The Rangers had both Jesper Fast and Connor Brickley providing the double screen in front of Phoenix Copley, and he never even caught a glimpse of the puck.

3-3 Tie
Jimmy Vesey (15) - Unassisted - 0:21 3rd Period

After setting up the first goal of the game, Jimmy Vesey added one of his own just 21 seconds into the third period and tied the game. Yet another odd-angle shot wound up beating Copley clean from the sideboards, and suddenly the Rangers were right back in this game.

4-3 Capitals
Nic Dowd (6) - Travis Boyd (12) & Brooks Orpik (4) - 2:25 3rd Period

Unfortunately, the tie game would only last for about two minutes as Nic Down made it a 4-3 game for the Capitals. An errant puck wound up slipping out from behind the net, and made its way to Nic Dowd, who was all alone in the slot. Dowd was able to collect the loose puck and beat Henrik Lundqvist on the backhand with a nifty move.

5-3 Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom (15) - Unassisted - 3:01 3rd Period

It went from bad to worse for the Rangers pretty quickly with Nicklas Backstrom registering his second goal of the afternoon. The Rangers were unable to contain Jakub Vrana coming out from behind the net, and after a fortunate bounce, the puck made its way over to Nicklas Backstrom off to the left side of the net. He was able to get himself into a shooting position and absolutely wired a wrist shot under the crossbar.

5-4 Capitals - PPG
Vladislav Namestnikov (8) - Neal Pionk (16) & Tony DeAngelo (18) - 6:01 3rd Period

The Rangers were now tasked with eliminating their second two-goal deficit, and it started with a power play goal by Vladislav Namestnikov. Neal Pionk’s point shot wound up ticking off of Namestnikov’s skate, and somehow made it through a ton of traffic in front of the net. Once again, Phoenix Copley never saw the puck as it came in on him and the Rangers made it a 5-4 game.

5-5 Tie
Brady Skjei (6) - Kevin Shattenkirk (18) & Mika Zibanejad (36) - 19:29 3rd Period

After numerous close calls at both ends, the Rangers finally found the tying goal with 31 seconds remaining in the game. Brady Skjei picked up his second goal of the afternoon as his point shot broke Carl Hagelin’s stick and flipped over Phoenix Copley. It changed direction quick enough that Copley wasn’t able to adjust and the Rangers sent this game to overtime.

6-5 Capitals
Evgeny Kuznetsov (16) - Alex Ovechkin (28) & Dimitri Orlov (15) - 4:20 Overtime

The Rangers had two golden opportunities to walk away with an overtime victory, but the bounces just didn’t land in their favor. Unfortunately, the Capitals were able to catch the Rangers on an extended shift and didn’t let up until the puck was in the back of the net. Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to locate his own rebound in the crease, and slammed the puck home in a combined effort was Alex Ovechkin.

Following today’s overtime loss the Washington Capitals, the Rangers will have two off days before returning to action on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.