Rangers top Caps to lead Metro and tie for President’s Trophy (NYR 3 v WSH 1)

Marty St. Louis makes no mistakes here (Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Marty St. Louis makes no mistakes here (Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The Find-A-Way Rangers (credit to Rick Carpiniello) continue to gut out victories in the absence of Henrik Lundqvist, power play goals and a dip in overall offense. Last night, the Rangers managed 3 goals, raising their totals to 7 in the last 4 games against Detroit, Chicago, NYI and Washington (1.75 GFA). Thanks to Talbot’s stellar goaltending and some gutty defense, NY has captured 7 of 8 points and now are tied for the league lead in points.

RANGERS 3 vs. CAPITALS 1

NYR 3 v WSH 1 (ESPN)

NYR 3 v WSH 1 (ESPN)

Many expected the Rangers to wear down after an emotional 2-1 victory against Islanders the night before. Instead, AV rolled his four lines for the majority of the game and the Blueshirts continued their tremendous season.

New York opened up the scoring on a Carl Hagelin tap in goal. The third line was the offensive force last night as the Caps had no answer for them. They buzzed in the Caps zone for a solid 30 seconds or more before Hags’ tally.

When Ovechkin scored on the PP to knot the game at one, it was JT Miller who broke the tie off a great feed by Kevin Hayes. The line finished the night with 2G – 2A and a plus 6 rating. Hayes had both helpers on his linemates’ goals.

What shouldn’t be lost in this contest is the continued improvement and dominance of Cam Talbot. Since a bit of a shaky start as the Rangers new #1 goalie, he has come on strong. Talbot posted a save percentage under .900 six out of eight games to start, but noe he’s posted 9 consecutive .900+ games with 2 shutouts. His night was highlighted with the glove save of his career off Nicklas Backstrom. “I just kind of instinctively reached back and luckily, it ended up in my glove,” Talbot recalled after the game.

The Rangers legs seemed to give a bit in the third as the Caps buzzed. Although NY had dominated most of the game, their hapless power play (0-3) couldn’t pad the lead. Still, it was Kreider’s intercept of a Caps puck and his incredible speed that led to a 2-0 breakaway with Marty St. Louis (who still has wheels at 39). Kreider made the pass to his left and MSL buried the biscuit and the Rangers put an exclamation mark on this gutty performance.

Sadly, there was one huge negative last night. Late in the third period, Kevin Klein blocked a shot that hit him in the arm. He was in immediate pain and left the ice at the whistle. X-rays were taken and we will learn more today but according to Andrew Gross, when Klein was asked if he was ok he said, “No, not really.”

Alain Vigneault was extremely complimentary of his goaltender and team. The coach who needs to find new ways to say the say the same thing was happy they were “able to pull it off”. Oddly enough, the best quote came from the Caps’ Matt Niskanen who said the Rangers “have their mojo going on.”

Indeed they do….indeed they do.

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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