By Chris Gordon
Photo: Jared Silber
The Capitals don’t lose very much — they’ve fallen in regulation just six times this season. One of those losses, a 5-2 defeat, came November 3 at Madison Square Garden to the New York Rangers, a division rival. Though the Capitals outshot New York 34-22, some players weren’t happy with the way they played, as Washington was doomed by odd-man breaks against.
“I thought that was one of our worst games of the year,” Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, who took the loss in the game, said Saturday. “We let their strengths overpower ours in that game. They got a lot of off the rush chances, which is what they thrive on.”
Holtby’s coach echoed that assessment.
“It’s what you leave against the Rangers that’s going to hurt you,” Barry Trotz said, referring to New York’s ability to capitalize on mistakes.
Six weeks later, the tables have turned. The Capitals hold the league’s best record, while the Rangers sit six points behind in the Metropolitan Division. Beset by injuries on their blueline, New York has won just three of their last 10 games. The team’s star netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, has allowed four or more goals in six of his last eight games.
“They’ve in a hole quite a bit, but they’re going to go through strings,” Trotz said. “They’re a good hockey team. We know that. If you’re gonna get through this division, you’re probably at some point going to have to go through the Rangers, which we’ve seen many times as Capitals.”
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