The New York Rangers came into tonight’s contest against the Washington Capitals looking for their third straight win. The Rangers were coming off two straight wins at home against the Minnesota Wild and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cam Talbot got the nod for his third straight start, the first time Henrik Lundqvist was sat for three consecutive starts since 2006.
The first period started off slow for the Rangers, and with 14:51 left Rick Nash took a penalty that most definitely could have been avoided. However, the Rangers sixth best penalty kill in the league went to work against the best power play in the league, and with 13:05 left in the first, failed as Mike Green scored a power play goal. However, the Rangers rebounded well and ended the period up 14-7 in shots.
Then, at the beginning of the second period the Rangers got a powerplay and not even two minutes into the period Benoit Pouliot tied the game at one on a deflection from a Brad Richards start. Playing well, and dominating the play for most of the second period, the Rangers looked as if they were going to turn the game around and take the lead when with only about one minute left Nicklas Backstrom scores after Ryan McDonagh turns the puck over and Cam Talbot messes up on an easy save blocker side and it goes in the net.
Headed to the third period down one goal, without the momentum, and on the penalty kill the unexpected happened. 17 seconds in Carl Hagelin gets a stretch pass from Ryan McDonagh and scores on the breakaway to tie the game at two. Later in the period on a 4 on 4, Dan Girardi hits the post and away comes the Capitals on the Rangers, Eric Fehr moves to the left side of John Moore and shoots from the top of the faceoff circle and a shot that again should have been an easy save goes by Talbot’s blocker side and in the net with 5:09 remaining in the game. Unable to tie it up, the Rangers fall to the Capitals 3-2 at the Verizon Center to start off their road trip.
My personal stars of the night:
1) Carl Hagelin
2) Benoit Pouliot
3) Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers are at it again on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.