Washington Capitals (12-7-3 27pts) v. New York Rangers (12-9-2 26pts)
The Washington Capitals are going to try to extend their season-long winning streak to five games when they play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden today. Meanwhile, the Rangers have won seven in a row at home, and will be looking to extend that streak to eight games.
The Capitals will be without forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie for a fifth consecutive game due to upper body and concussion injuries respectively. In that time Tom Wilson has stepped up since returning from suspension as he has eight points (3 goals and 5 assists) in 6 games.
Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky — Travis Boyd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin — Nic Dowd — Chandler Stephenson
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Christian Djoos — Jonas Siegenthaler
Scratched: Madison Bowey
Injured: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body), T.J. Oshie (Concussion), Brooks Orpik (Knee Surgery)
New York Rangers:
Vladislav Namestnikov — Mika Zibanejad — Jesper Fast
Chris Kreider — Kevin Hayes — Filip Chytil
Jimmy Vesey — Brett Howden — Ryan Strome
Tim Gettinger — Lias Andersson — Steven Fogarty
Marc Staal — Neal Pionk
Fredrik Claesson– Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei — Brendan Smith
Scratched: Tony DeAngelo
Injured: Adam McQuaid (lower body), Pavel Buchnevich (broken thumb), Cody McLeod (fractured left hand), Mats Zuccarello (groin)
Rangers Penalty – :25 – Jesper Fast 2 minutes for Tripping
Rangers Penalty – 6:59 – Jimmy Vesey 2 minutes for High Sticking
Rangers Goal – 9:12 – Jimmy Vesey (8) from Jesper Fast (7) and Kevin Hayes (10)
Capitals Penalty – 17:27 – Tom Wilson 2 minutes for Interference
End of 1st – WAS – 0 NYR – 1
Shots 06 12
Faceoffs 02 13
Hits 09 14
PP 0/2 0/1
Capitals (Michael) – This was a very horrible period for the Capitals. They were out shot 12-6, and were decimated in the faceoff circle winning only 2 faceoffs the entire period. Their powerplay was sloppy and they had 10 giveaways in the first period. Not good at all.
Rangers (Russell) – The Rangers came out a bit flat like they did against the Flyers but the goal by Jimmy Vesey sparked them and led to a pretty solid back end of the 1st period. They looked like the 9-1-1 team in the last 10 minutes but it’s clear they cant give the Capitals any space.
Need to Do:
Capitals (Michael) – The Capitals need to show up and clean their game completely. They need to do a better job in the faceoff circle, doing zone entries, and they need to be much smarter with the puck and cut down on their turnovers. Also the Capitals need to do a better job of establishing a presence in the Rangers zone generate some scoring chances.
Rangers (Russell) – The Rangers need to keep the game simple, get pucks deep and Pheonix Copley can be beat. It seems Copley goes down quick so shoot high!
Capitals Penalty – :59 – Lars Eller 2 minutes for Hooking
Rangers Goal – 9:39 – Brady Skjei (2) from Brendan Smith (4) and Kevin Hayes (11)
Capitals Goal – 10:10 – Nic Dowd (2) from John Carlson (18) and Brett Connolly (9)
Capitals Goal – 16:27 – Jakub Vrana (6) from unassisted
Capitals Goal – 19:30 – Alex Ovechkin (17) from John Carlson (19) and Dmitry Orlov (7)
End of 2nd – WAS – 3 NYR – 2
Shots 21 21
Faceoffs 10 23
Hits 24 30
PP 0/2 0/2
Capitals (Michael) – The first half of the 2nd period was not very good, but after the Rangers took a 2-0 lead the Capitals woke up and started scoring. However, the Capitals were out shooting the Rangers 9-0 when the Rangers scored their lone goal of the period, but the Capitals didn’t back down and got two goals that were tipped in due to presence in front of the net, and one goal from Jakub Vrana out hustling the Rangers defense to win the puck and the opportunity to score.
Rangers (Russell) – Rangers had a great first half that led to a nice goal by Brady Skjei. Alexandar Georgiev looked very sharp early on but the Caps would storm back taking advantage of some costly defensive mistakes. The Rangers defense really needs to tighten up and protect the net front area as well. Georgiev looks a bit rattled especially after that Ovechkin goal so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Lundqvist for the third.
Need to Do:
Capitals (Michael) – The Capitals still need to do a much better job in the face off circle as they have won only 10 faceoffs this game and winning faceoffs is key to creating puck possession. Also the Capitals need to cut down on their turnovers and clean their game up some more. The final 20 minutes are going to be crucial.
Rangers (Russell) – The Rangers need to tighten up defensively and just get traffic in front of Copley. Get everything on net. Put Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil, and Mika Zibanejad out to start and see if they can get an early goal.
Rangers Goal – 5:30 – Ryan Strome (2) from Brett Howden (9) and Neal Pionk (11)
Capitals Goal – 13:36 – Brett Connolly (4) from John Carlson (20) and Jakub Vrana (8)
Capitals ENG – 18:52 – Tom Wilson (4) from Michal Kempny (4)
End of 3rd – WAS – 5 NYR – 3
Shots 28 30
Faceoffs 15 27
Hits 33 42
PP 0/2 0/2
Capitals (Michael) – Despite this game being more of a sloppy one in regards to puck possession, The Capitals were able to overcome and secure their 5th straight victory. John Carlson was pivotal as he had 3 assists to help lead the Capitals to a 5-3 victory over the Rangers. However, the Capitals need to clean up elements of their game going into Monday night’s contest against former head coach Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders. Also this was a great game for Dmitrij Jaskin. He played very solid hockey and had several quality scoring chances today.
Rangers (Russell) – The Rangers came out swinging in this period and were rewarded with a great play by Brett Howden and Ryan Strome’s first as a Ranger. From there though, another defensive lapse would cost them as Brett Connolly would strike for the Caps 4th goal of the game. The Rangers would lose 5-3. Now as far as games go, it was a better effort than yesterday’s fumble against the Flyers. The team had some good jump and they capitalized on some good chances. But as was the case earlier in the season, defensively this team still has a long way to go to figure things out. Coach Quinn needs to make sure everyone knows their assignments and that the front of the net is always cleared. Never let too much traffic build up in front of the goaltender. Another solid game from Brett Howden and Jimmy Vesey was a bright spot of today’s game. Brady Skjei getting on the board was also great since he had been healthy scratched for a bit and needed a confidence booster. In a season of rebuilding/retooling, the Rangers showed spirit against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Washington (13-7-3 29pts) @ NY Islanders (1-8-2 24pts)
NY Rangers (12-10-2 26pts) v. Ottawa (9-11-3 21pts)
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