The New York Rangers took on the Capitals on Sunday looking to break a three game losing streak. Alexandar Georgiev got the start in net for the Rangers while Braden Holtby got the start for the Caps.
The scoring started early as Ryan Strome scored 45 seconds in. Jesper Fast forced a turnover behind the net which fell to Chris Kreider, who backhanded it to Strome in front. Only 90 seconds later, Carl Hagelin found himself in a two on one where he attempted a pass that was blocked by Kibor Hajek, but the puck came right back to Hagelin who slid it into the open net as Georgiev had slid to the other side in anticipation of the pass. At the 10 minute mark, Andre Burakovsky came into the zone on the right wing in a three on one. Instead of passing, he cut across ice, beating Marc Staal, and finished with a wrist shot from the left dot thanks to a great screen from newly acquired Nick Jensen. Mika Zibanejad had a great chance to score a minute later after forcing a turnover and getting a breakaway, but was stuffed by Holtby. The last five minutes of the period were very sloppy and saw three penalties, but neither team could capitalize.
The Caps dominated the second period from beginning to end. Georgiev stood on his head in the first few minutes, making save after save. Through 10 minutes, the Rangers had only one shot. However, they would start to gain momentum and managed to score with 5:40 left in the period. Anthony DeAngelo shot from the point which resulted in a large rebound, where Filip Chytil made a beautiful diving pass to Pavel Buchnevich who put it away. The Rangers could barely get it out of the zone in the last three minutes. They did clear it once, where Buchnevich and Kevin Shattenkirk had a two on one but couldn’t finish. Apart from this, the Capitals lived in the Rangers zone. Georgiev saved the Rangers once again, including a beautiful sliding save on a rocket from Alex Ovechkin.
The third period was very physically and yielded few chances. Tom Wilson was very active, delivering many hits and also taking a kneeing penalty with 13 minutes left when he hit Jimmy Vesey low and late. Vesey had a nice chance from between the dots on the powerplay but it was blocked. Later, Georgiev made another great play when he saved a deflected shot, then kicked the rebound out of the crease when Wilson was in alone with a chance to finish. Brendan Smith took a penalty with four minutes left but the Rangers penalty kill delivered, their fourth successful stint of the night.
The first few minutes of overtime were dry until DeAngelo made a beautiful play forcing two defenders behind the net and dishing to a wide open Buchnevich who was stuffed in front. Seconds later, the Caps sprung Ovechkin on a breakaway but he couldn’t finish and was stuffed by Georgiev.
Shattenkirk started the shootout with a nice goal, which was countered by a T.J. Oshie goal. Holtby and Georgiev then made back to back saves. DeAngelo then scored, but this was countered by a Nicklas Backstrom goal. After Chytil was denied, Georgiev looked to be beaten by Ovechkin and appeared to throw his stick at Ovechkin’s stick. After viewing the replay, the refs rewarded Washington with a goal after it was decided Georgiev threw his stick at the puck.