The Rangers finally put together a complete team effort tonight, beating the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-0. The win was Henrik Lundqvist’s first shutout of the season. Every player on the Rangers played well, and the systemic breakdowns in defensive zone coverage were few and far between. This team wasn’t perfect, but they limited their mistakes and made the Caps pay for theirs.
The goal to this game was staying out of the box, and it was something that the Rangers failed to do, taking four penalties and giving the Caps a 5-on-3 opportunity. Despite the strong overall play, discipline needs to be worked on. Aside from that, it was a very complete game from New York.
On to the goals:
Rangers 1, Sharks 0
The Rangers had a solid cycle and puck movement on this 4 on 4 goal. There was a lot of player movement, finding open ice, and attacking that open ice. John Moore eventually wound up down low, and from there he circled back to high slot. The rotation confused Washington, and they left him wide open for the feed from Brad Richards. Moore let loose a quick wrister that went right over Braden Holtby’s shoulder.
Rangers 2, Caps 0
This goal was the result of another great shift by New York, something that was relatively consistent throughout the game. A lot of hard work, a lot of cycling, a lot of board work and blue-collar Ranger hockey. Eventually, with Richards maintaining possession at the boards, Ryan Callahan gained a step on John Carlson. Richards fed Cally in front, and the puck ricocheted in the air and Cally batted it into the net in one movement. It was a pretty goal.
The Rangers really did a great job of building off the positives from St. Louis and put together a solid team victory tonight. This was game one of a stretch of three where the Rangers are playing opponents who are struggling. They are in New Jersey on Saturday, and Philadelphia next week. A nice little win streak puts that whole west coast mess behind them. This is the Ranger team we are used to seeing.