The Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden, 5-3. The win is Washington's 5th in a row and improved their record to 11-4 with 22 points, sitting atop the NHL's Eastern Conference.
The Caps naturally found ways to fall behind in the first period. It has become a rite of passage for the Caps to not hold a lead after one period of play. Brain Boyle provided all the Rangers offense, scoring twice in the first. Boyle's first tally came a little over the 4 minute mark. His goal was answered on a Washington power play when Brooks Laich deflected in an Alexander Semin wrister to knot the game at 1-1. It was Laich's 4th goal of the season. Alex Ovechkin had the secondary assist. Boyle scored his second of the game at the 12:56 mark, just as the Ranger two man power play advantage was ending, to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. That is where the first period would end. Washington out shot New York 14-11.
Caps went on to add two more goals in the third period. Matt Hendricks scored his second goal of the season, set up by a beautiful centering pass from behind the net from Matt Bradley to give the Capitals a 4-3 lead, their first lead of the game. That lead would stand. Washington got its finally tally at the 19:54 mark, an empty net tally by Brooks Laich, giving him two goals on the night.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 of 28 shots and notched the win, improving his season record to 9-3. It was the Washington Capitals 5th straight win and 7th win out of their last 8 games.
Mike Green, 2 assists
Matt Hendricks, 1 goal, 1 assist
Brooks Laich, 2 goals, 1 assists
Alex Ovechkin, 2 assists
DCPSR Player of the Game:
Brooks Laich, 2 goals, 1 assists, +3