Rangers beat Caps to extend streak to 7 straight wins! (NYR 4 vs. CAPS 2)

The Rangers salute the MSG crowd after beating the Caps 12.23.14 (Photo: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

The Rangers salute the MSG crowd after beating the Caps 12.23.14 (Photo: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Marty St. Louis and Rick Nash each notched a pair of goals, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 of 32 shots for a big win. The Blueshirts will now head into the Christmas break on a 7 game win streak, in 3rd place and only 6 points behind the Islanders with 2 games in hand.

RANGERS 4 vs. CAPITALS 2

WSH at NYR 12.23.14 (ESPN)

WSH at NYR 12.23.14 (ESPN)

Henrik Lundqvist was all smiles after the Rangers regrouped and scored a huge PP goal late in the third period. “It’s a great feeling to go into this break after having been playing really well as a group the last couple of weeks,” Lundqvist told Blueshirts United.

NY now has 40 points in the standings and have collected 21 of those points in their last 13 games. “We play a game now where everyone knows their role and how to play to have success,” the King said. “It feels good right now.”

As the Blueshirts head into the Christmas break, they now have 3 days off to prepare for a big time tilt against heated rival New Jersey on Saturday. If there is any fear of a let down, Marty St. Louis doesn’t see it. “We did a good job of going out there and earning it every day,” MSL said wearing the Broadway Hat. “We’ve taken nothing for granted.”

The Rangers jumped out in front early when Mats Zuccarello’s shot hit Nash’s leg as he drove the net. A little Christmas bounce to get the Rangers on the board, because Zucc’s shot was going way wide.

Early in the second, Marty St. Louis would score glove side on Holtby. A beautiful setup by Dan Boyle on the PP, to which he remarked “he’s scored so many from there” during intermission.

The Rangers MVP so far, Rick Nash (Jared Silber/Getty)

The Rangers MVP so far, Rick Nash (Jared Silber/Getty)

Rick Nash would actually score one off his stick as he used the defender as a screen. Nash’s 22nd of the season went short side and NY was up 3-0. Rick Nash is now 4 shy of his total of 26 last season.

Lundqvist would have to work in the third period. The Caps ripped 21 shots on the King and tallied twice. First, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on one Hank would like back. Then Alex Ovechkin boomed a shot by Lundqvist on the PP to make it a one goal game.

The contest would all but end when Niklas Backstrom’s high stick cut Brassard’s nose for a double minor, followed by a face-off penalty by Jason Chimera to create a 5-3 advantage. Rick Nash’s shot from the slot rang the post and hit Holtby in the glove. In the same motion, Holtby’s glove and MSL’s stick drove the puck into the net.

Now here’s the controversy; since Marty’s stick never touched the puck, will we wake up tomorrow to find out Nash got a hat-trick? I will quote The Captain after game 7 in 1994 when asked if he actually touched the game winner. When one of us scores, we all score,” Mark Messier exclaimed as the Cup paraded around behind him.

The Rangers are hot and as Alain Vigneault said, “we feel really good about ourselves,” and they should! NY has battled injuries to almost the entire defense, lost Stepan in camp and have run through the mumps.

As the Rangers head into 2015, they are well ahead of their pace last season. Who knows what a little stronger run and possible higher seed heading into the playoffs could bring this year.

I wonder how much eggnog the Stanley Cup can hold for the boys next Christmas.

NOTES

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore