WASHINGTON – What was looking like a total disaster for the New York Rangers, it turned quickly into a resilient comeback and a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals. New York has now won nine of its last 12 road games against Washington (9-3-0), including six of its last eight road contests against the Capitals (6-2-0).
Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Vesey twice and Rick Nash on the empty net were the goal scorers for the Rangers. The first period was not a good one for the Blueshirts, they were outworked and looked flat. The defense looked unstable. Whatever may have been said in between periods the Rangers fixed it.
Henrik Lundqvist was able to shut the door the rest of the way and picked up his second win of the season. Lundqvist has posted a win in each of his last six appearances on the road against Washington, dating back to Oct. 8, 2009.
With Adam Clendening recording a point on Brandon Pirri’s goal, 19 different Rangers (including goaltender Antti Raanta) have tallied at least one point through the first five games of the 2016-17 season. Nine different Rangers registered at least one point in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers also continue their winning ways on the road, they lead the Eastern Conference teams in road wins since the start of the 2013-14 season (73; 73-43-9 record in 125 regular season games over the span). It seems its been a nightmare for the Capitals who can’t seem to beat the Rangers on home ice. Also in the early part of the season the Capitals have been dominated in the second periods.
The Rangers continue the wonderful stat of having posted a 181-3-11 record in their last 195 regular season games when leading entering the third period, dating back to Feb. 6, 2010 vs. New Jersey.
Jimmy Vesey recorded two goals, including the game-winning goal, and registered three shots on goal. Vesey is the third NHL rookie to post a multi-goal game thus far in 2016-17 (along with Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine). He is the third Rangers rookie who has posted a multi-goal game since the start of the 2013-14 season (Chris Kreider – twice; Oscar Lindberg). Vesey is also the first Rangers rookie who has posted a multi-goal game on the road since the 2011-12 season (Carl Hagelin – Dec. 10, 2011 at Buffalo). Vesey has registered the game-winning goal in each of the two games in which he has recorded a goal thus far in 2016-17.
Lundqvist, called the first period tough, but went on to say how this game was a very good hockey game for the team, “we battled back and I loved the way we fought back”.
Starts have not always been good for the Rangers but their start through 5 games have been better than expected. It will be a quick turnaround for the Rangers who take on the Arizona Coyotes later on tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Mats Zuccarello notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating in 17:24 of ice time. He has tallied five points (two goals, three assists) thus far this season. Since the start of last season, 56 of his 66 points have either been a goal or the primary assist on a goal.
Derek Stepan recorded an assist in 18:25 of ice time in tonight’s game. The Rangers alternate captain has tallied three assists/points in the last three games. Stepan registered his 308th career point as a Ranger in tonight’s game, tying Mike Rogers for 37th place on the franchise’s all-time points list. Stepan has also recorded 197 career NHL assists.
Ryan McDonagh tallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating while skating in a game-high 25:30 of ice time. The Rangers have posted a 22-1-2 record in the last 25 games in which McDonagh has logged at least 25:00 of ice time, dating back to Oct. 16, 2014. McDonagh extended his assist/point streak to three games (four assists over the span), and he has notched 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in his last 38 games, dating back to Jan. 9, 2016. McDonagh has led the Rangers in ice time in each of the first five games of the 2016-17 season. In addition, the Rangers captain extended his assist/point streak against Washington to five games (seven assists over the span), and he has registered 15 assists in 17 games against the Capitals since the start of the 2012-13 season.