Capitals Hang on to Down Rangers 5-4
The story for Washington so far this season is their play in the second period. This season, the Capitals lead the league in second period goals, and added three more in today’s matchup. The Rangers attempted to make a comeback bid, scoring four in the third, but ultimately fell short.
Through the first period and a half, the game was sitting at 0-0. A lot of heavy hits led to very little separation for either side. Once the first goal hit the back of the net, the floodgates opened. Tom Wilson opened the scoring in the second period. Wilson’s goal was followed by a goal from Alex Ovechkin and then Wilson tallied another to put the Caps up 3-0. Wilson has four points in four games since returning from his seven-game suspension.
Ovechkin’s goal marked his team leading 18th of the season and career number 724. He is now eight goals shy of passing Marcel Dionne for fifth place on the all-time scoring list.
In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov put the Capitals up 4-0 off a beautiful feed from Carl Hagelin. Following Kuznetsov’s goal, the Rangers began mounting a comeback. They scored twice in three minutes to cut the lead to 4-2. T.J. Oshie then provided an extra cushion for Washington with a deflection goal. Oshie finished with three points on the day with a goal and two assists.
After Oshie’s goal, the Rangers were able to tally two more to make it a one goal game. Up 5-4, the Capitals were able to fend off two minutes of desperation hockey from the Rangers and hang on for the win.
With the win, Washington improved to 23-7-4. They are the second team to reach the 50 point mark in the league (Tampa Bay). The Capitals are 15-2-1 in their last 18 games and have won 10 of their last 11. Currently the Capitals are sitting in first place in the Eastern Division, two points ahead of the Islanders.
Washington’s next game is the second half of the home and home with the Rangers in New York on Tuesday night (3/30).