The Rangers took it to the Caps offensively in this game, tallying a whopping 20 shots in the first period alone. The Rangers eventually finished with 40 shots on goal. Braden Holtby was the only reason why this game wasn’t 6-1 or 7-1. He made several outstanding saves from point-blank range. The Rangers were able to erase a 1-0 deficit on goals by Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan, with Stepan’s coming on the Rangers’ fourth powerplay of the game.
On to the goals:
Caps 1, Rangers 0
This goal is the result of an overall defensive breakdown. First, on the Eric Fehr chance, J.T. Miller missed the trailer (Fehr), and the Rangers dodged a bullet –albeit for about 10 seconds– when Fehr hit the post. After the Caps regained possession, the puck worked its way to the point and Mike Ribeiro. In this case, Ribeiro is Brad Richards’ assignment, but Miller already covering the point as his man was literally next to Ribeiro. Where the Rangers faltered was when Gaborik cheated over to Ribeiro, leaving John Carlson wide open on the weak side. Ribeiro is too good of a passer to miss that target, and all Carlson had to do was find the open twine.
Rangers 1, Caps 1
Sometimes, hockey happens. After Ryan McDonagh kept the zone and fired the puck behind the net, the combination of Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin worked the puck to Rick Nash. Nash found McDonagh at the point as Hagelin made his way to the front of the net. From the picture above, you can see that Tom Poti has Hagelin marked and is on him. But McDonagh made a perfect pass out to Hagelin for the easy tip-in. You can argue that Poti didn’t work the body, but sometimes, hockey happens. Perfect execution.
Rangers 2, Caps 1
This goal was just utter perfection on the powerplay. It starts with Richards winning the face off, and the Rangers powerplay rotation going to work. Eventually, Nash works the puck back to Richards, who finds Michael Del Zotto at the top of the circle. Derek Stepan, who was at the wing on the face off, snuck in at the back door, where John Carlson did not pick him up in time. A perfect pass from MDZ was all it took for the easy tap-in. Tic tac toe.