The Washington Capitals returned to action at Capital One Arena following the NHL holiday break and got a huge 3-1 win over their Metropolitan Division rival Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. It was their third win in a row that saw goals from Chandler Stephenson, T.J. Oshie and John Carlson. Christmas was fun and the Caps had great videos, but it feels good to see them play hockey again.
Even Sir Paul McCartney couldn’t inspire the NY Rangers as they fell to the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Gardens.
The Caps did not have a morning skate, which may be something that will change because of poor first periods in the past two games. Justin Williams alluded to that as a contributing factor to their slow start, then again he struck first at 12:03 of the first period. Scoring first is important in any game but especially when the Caps are playing the NY Rangers.
Unfortunately, the Caps enjoyed the lead for only 1:39 because J.T. Miller put one past Braden Holtby. Then, Chris Kreider, on the power play, doubles the deficit. A bad bounce and Dan Boyle puts another past Holtby, and suddenly it is 3-1 Blueshirts at the end of the first period.
The Caps had a power play early in the second period, but nothing came of it. The Caps went on the PK shortly after. And then something magical happened. Evegny Kuznetsov scored from a sharp angle, the Caps were within one. T.J. Oshie does an awesome thing and ties the game with his first career goal against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.
The Rangers forgot the “do not touch the goaltender” rule in hockey and some unpleasant words were exchanged between the players. Tom Wilson and Tanner Glass got matching double minors for roughing. Jason Chimera was tripped and the Caps go on the power play. Alex Ovechkin does his thing, which is scoring on the PP, Caps lead 4-3.
On the power play, Justin Williams collected his second goal of the night, 5-3 Caps.
The Rangers pull Henrik Lundqvist putting the other Swede Magnus Hellberg in net for New York. And with that, Jason Chimera scores his second shorthanded goal of the season, Caps up 6-3. A bad turnover for the Rangers and Kuzy sets up Marcus Johansson who puts the puck past Hellberg, 7-3 Caps.
The Capitals are victorious and are the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 50 points. They are tied for first overall place with the Dallas Stars, who reached 50 points last night with a commanding 6-2 victory over the Canadiens.
Written by Renee Garces
Photos by Brittney Marcum (unless otherwise designated)