Score: 2-1 Rangers
The Rangers entered their first matchup with the Washington Capitals since their thrilling seven-game playoff series last spring playing their best hockey of the young season, posting a 3-0-1 record in their previous four games. The Capitals, meanwhile, had entered the contest riding a three-game winning streak of their own, scoring 15 goals during that stretch.
The Capitals jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a John Carlson tally just 1:19 into the game. But that was all they’d get on the night, as the Rangers controlled the play throughout the remainder of the game.
Carl Hagelin knotted the contest at 7:39 of the second period for his fourth marker in five games, which extended his career-high goal streak.
Despite outplaying the Capitals for the remainder of the second, the Rangers had to wait until 4:25 of the third to get rewarded when Derek Stepan’s finished a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play with Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto on the power play to finally give the Rangers the lead, 2-1, which they would hold onto for the win.
If it had not been for Braden Holtby and his 38 saves, the game would have been much more one-sided.
Henrik Lundqvist finished with 27 saves, including 10 in the final period, most of which came with the Rangers holding onto their one-goal lead.
The win improved the Rangers to 7-5-1 and vaulted them into the top-eight in the Eastern Conference, while the loss kept the Capitals in the Eastern Conference cellar.
Three Stars of the Game:
- Carl Hagelin: one goal, four shots in 16:41
- Rick Nash: one assist, eight shots and one hit in 22:33
- Braden Holtby: 38 saves