A Big Win in Game Three Gives the New York Rangers a Chance to Sweep the Capitals

Apr 26, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson
Apr 26, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Your New York Rangers are now in a situation where they can complete the sweep of their Metropolitan Division rivals. A 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals in game three gives the Rangers a 3-0 series lead over the Caps, and this series is starting to look like the mismatch everyone thought it would be. The Rangers have reaffirmed their position as one of the Stanley Cup favorites, while the Capitals have looked like a team that struggled to make the playoffs. 

Game three started poorly when the Washington Capitals would break into the offensive zone, with T.J. Oshie getting the puck into the offensive zone before handing it off to John Carlson between the circles. His shot from high in the slot is headed for the top corner, and Igor whiffs on the blocker stop. I want to avoid jumping on Igor for this goal, but it's one he'd like back, and the Capitals lead early. He'd make up for it the rest of the game. 

New York would bail their goaltender back quickly when the Rangers gained the offensive zone, and Mika Zibanejad circled back to the point. His shot from up high was deflected at the top of the blue paint, meaning it has to be a Chris Kreider goal. No other Ranger seems to ever be in that position, and the Rangers' top line kicks the Blueshirts back onto level terms. 

After a penalty, the Rangers would be shorthanded, meaning it was an excellent chance for a shorthanded goal. I'm being somewhat sarcastic, but the Capital's powerplay had a shot blocked from Ovechkin, and it kick-started the Ranger's attacking the other way. Vincent Trocheck carried the puck through the neutral zone before getting the pass to his partner, Barclay Goodrow. Goodrow grabs a shorthanded goal with Ovechkin trying to fill the defensive gaps, and it's 2-1 New York. 

New York would extend the lead in the late portion of the second period when the powerplay did its thing. Adam Fox found Mika Zibanejad against the boards before Zibanejad and Trocheck combined for a beautiful give-and-go pass behind the Capital's penalty killers. It allowed Trocheck to bury the puck past Ryan Lindgren, and the Rangers would shut the door for the remainder of the game. They now have a 3-0 series lead.