Brooks Laich with the book-end goals. (Photo credit: Frank Franklin II)
Well, that was an ugly one. The Washington Capitals’ first appointment with the New York Rangers, hosted in the majestically gloomy Madison Square Garden, had all of the poetry of an alleyway brawl. 28 penalty minutes were distributed in the first period alone. Mike Green dropped gloves for crying out loud!
The Rangers got up to an early lead when Brian Boyle beat Jeff Schultz at the circle. All night the Capitals defense was spotty, and it seemed the Superfriends could not make up for it. Every time the Caps tied the score, the Rangers pulled ahead again. But the Caps found strength where we faithful knew it would be: depth. Brooks Laich recorded a pair, Mike Knuble finished the funk, Matt Hendricks provided the GWG, and even lovable John Erskine got on the board. Henrik Lundqvist lay defeated. Caps beat Rangers 5-3.
Las balas en los rojos pantoalones en la biblioteca con pollo.
The Caps continue to win close games through force of will. Even with several defensive goofs and the relative absence of the 8-19-28 line, the Capitals found a way to win through grit. This is only the second game, after Calgary (-2), that the Capitals have managed to win with a negative scoring chance differential (-1). That speaks to the kind of determination and win-lust other coaches speechify about, but only few teams possess.
Good win, boys. Enjoy a day off in NYC; we’ll see you back in D.C. on Thursday.
Written by Peter Hassett in Baltimore.
Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg in Florida.
Ian Oland added pictures from Hanover.
Rachl Cohen illustrated from Connecticut.
Fedor Fedin should be asleep in Moscow.
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