New York Rangers Comeback Capped at 2 in Loss to Washington

McDonagh Battles Ovechkin for Puck (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In what’s become usual fashion recently, the New York Rangers came out with disjointed play and dug themselves a hole on the scoreboard.

It did them no favors as Jay Beagle was able to score within the first 14 seconds of the game to put the Capitals up 1-0. The rest of the period continued in the same fashion with a bit of sloppy passing and turnovers in the D-Zone that could’ve proved costly.

 

Second Period

Although the Rangers picked up the pace in the 2nd period and had many chances to tie the game 1-1. Nicklas Backstrom picked up a bouncing up in the Rangers defensive zone and put one home to extend the Capitals lead to 2-0

Michael Grabner: Grabner ditched his Mr. Empty-Netter title today and went in favor of putting the Rangers on the board in the second period. Miller passed a puck to Grabner, who was open in front of the net. He beat Holtby blocker side and ended his chances for a shutout on the night. Sending the teams into the locker room after two periods with a one goal game.

Third Period

Jesper Fast: Affectionately known as Quickie, he took a quick shot off a feed from Paul Carey and banked it past Holtby to tie the game in the third period.

After tying the game up at 2-2 with 10:23 to go, things were looking good for the Rangers, but something we highlighted pregame, the battle of Washington’s top line versus the Rangers depth, took over. Matt Niskanen put home a rebound off of a Tom Wilson rush to the net to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead with 3:32 to go in the 3rd despite the Rangers comeback effort.

To add insult to injury, Nicklas Backstrom found a streaking Tom Wilson with 1:32 left in the game to put the game out of the Rangers reach.

Rick Nash: Nash was on the puck every time he was on the ice, using his muscle and stick handling to control the puck and keep it on his stick. While he’s not known for his scoring these days, this is exactly the kind of play that needs to happen each game.

Henrik Lundqvist: Despite the fact that he let in a goal early on, Lundqvist had a decent game after missing the last game vs Pittsburgh due to illness. He kept the Rangers in the game, making 36 saves on the night, but it wasn’t enough. His game, however, wasn’t too far off from what we’ve come to expect. He made a couple of timely saves when they were a man down, and when the team ganged up in the corner on Wilson, rather than defend in front of the net. The game could’ve easily been 3-0 at the end of the first.

Other Notes: With the Metro being an extremely tight division, the Rangers cannot afford to lose these games. They won against the Penguins, but need to have a strong showing in order to make it into the playoffs. Yes, it’s a ways away, and there are many games left to play, but 2 points are 2 points and it’s better to rack them up early than struggle to make the wild card spot in April.

The Rangers Power Play was again stymied, going 0/3 against the Capitals on the man advantage. Something we spoke about pre-game and have kept an eye on. Over the last 10 games the Rangers Power Play is now 3/30 (10%) and 0/22 against teams not named the Carolina Hurricanes during that stretch.

 

The Rangers continue their ride through the Metro with a game at home tonight vs the Devils. We’ll have the Pre-Game up shortly.

Editors Note: Apologies for the late publishing of this post. We had some technical difficulties this morning. All things seem to be back in order however.

LET’S GO RANGERS!!