Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 4, Capitals 1.
- The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-1, tonight at Madison Square Garden, in their third game in four days. The Blueshirts notched three goals in the first period, including two from Rick Nash, while Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves in the win. New York has now won nine of their last 12 games (9-2-1), and six of their last seven.
- The Blueshirts improved to 27-21-3 overall (57 pts), including a 12-11-3 mark at home this season. The Rangers have registered points in eight of the last nine games (7-1-1) and 14 of their last 18 (12-4-2), and have at least one point in nine of their last 11 home games (7-2-2).
- The Rangers have held opponents to two or fewer goals in each of the last seven games, and nine of their last 11 overall. The Rangers have also allowed two or fewer goals in five straight games at home, and seven of their last eight at Madison Square Garden.
- New York has now posted a combined record of 11-6-1 in back-to-back contests this season, including a 6-3-0 mark in the second game of a set (3-2-0 at home). Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Rangers are 19-8-2 in the second game of back-to-backs.
- The Rangers have registered a point in 10 of their last 14 meetings with the Capitals, dating back to a 7-0 win on Dec. 12, 2010. New York has posted a 9-4-1 record and has out-scored Washington, 43-27, during the stretch. The Blueshirts also have points in five of their last seven games against the Capitals at Madison Square Garden (4-2-1).
- New York has scored the first goal of the game in five of their last seven contests, and improved to 22-3-1 this season when scoring the game’s first goal. The Blueshirts are also 13-3-1 when leading after the first period, and 17-1-1 when leading after the second.
- The Rangers power play was 1-5 (7:24) in the contest. New York has notched a power play goal in seven of the last nine games (8-31, 25.8%) and 12 of the last 17 (16-61, 26.2%).
- The Blueshirts were credited with 23 blocked shots in the contest, including 12 players who registered at least one blocked shot and five who recorded two or more.
- Rick Nash notched two goals, including a 5-on-3 power play goal, was credited with two takeaways, and posted a plus-two rating in 15:09 of ice time. He registered three goals and a plus-four rating in the Rangers’ back-to-back set, and has seven goals in the last eight contests. Nash now leads the team with 14 goals and is tied for third in the NHL with six game-winning goals this season, including four game-winners in the last six contests.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to improve to 17-17-3 overall, including a 9-10-3 mark at home this season. He is now 5-1-0 with a 1.34 goals against average, .958 save percentage, and one shutout in his last six games, and 7-2-1 with a 1.97 goals against average, .937 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 10 appearances.
- Ryan Callahan tallied a shorthanded goal and was credited with four hits in 17:00 of ice time. He has recorded a point in six of the last nine games, registering six points (two goals, four assists) over the span.
- Derek Stepan registered a goal, two blocked shots, posted a plus-two rating, and won a team-high, 8-15 faceoffs (53%) in 16:51 of ice time. He has now recorded four points (two goals, two assists) in the last two games.
- Dan Girardi tallied two assists, including one while shorthanded, was credited with four hits and four blocked shots, and posted a plus-three rating in 19:31 of ice time. He now leads the Rangers with two shorthanded assists this season.
- Brad Richards tallied a power play assist, was credited with two blocked shots, and won 7-13 faceoffs (54%) in 17:43 of ice time. He has tallied 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last nine games, including a point in each of the last two games (one goal, one assist).
- Ryan McDonagh recorded a power play assist, was credited with three takeaways, and posted a plus-two rating in 20:37 of ice time. He has registered three assists in the last five games, including a power play assist in each of the last two.
- Dominic Moore registered his first career shorthanded assist, was credited with three hits, and won 6-9 faceoffs (67%) in 12:37 of ice time.
- Michael Del Zotto recorded an assist on Derek Stepan’s first period goal, and was credited with three hits and a team-high, five blocked shots in 18:14 of ice time.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “We are playing real solid, in my estimation, at both ends of the rink. Not giving the opposition tons of chances, tons of opportunities, and the chances we are getting, a lot of them are Grade A chances that we have a better chance to finish on those. Tonight, we were in great defensive position on the fore check. We create the turnovers. He (Nash) is going in alone on the goaltender. That 5-on-3 was an ideal situation.”
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game… “I think special teams – the way the power play is playing right now is just lifting the whole team, the energy and confidence, scoring the goals we’re scoring and then the PK has been really good. If you can win the special teams you have a good chance of winning every game. When you get the start we had tonight it’s more about being smart about the rest; making sure you manage the puck, just being smart all over the ice. I thought we played a really good game. We didn’t give them much. Our mindset after the first [period]was let’s take care of business and we need these points as a team.”
Ryan Callahan on Rick Nash… “He’s got confidence, you can tell that. With the way he’s holding onto pucks in the offensive zone, just putting the puck in the net. He’s such a big body out there, when he grabs it he controls the game. When he’s playing you can notice it.”
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