So Ovechkin naturally turned around and found a way to score two goals in the second half of the third period, single-handedly wishing his side for a 2-1 victory over Rangers.
The Blueshirts held a 1-0 lead until 13:18 remaining in the third period, but Ovechkin, 35, found himself in the right place at the right time – and he buried two goals from the same place in space from in 3:09 to return the script.
It was the Capitals’ first win over the Rangers in their three games this season and it extended their winning streak to seven games.
“He’s a Hall of Fame member, he always finds ways to score goals,” interim Rangers head coach Kris Knoblauch said of Ovechkin after the loss, which made drop the Blueshirts to 12-13-4.
“As far as the shot goes, I thought Lindgren had a great game, it was clean,” Knoblauch said. “I haven’t seen the video yet but I didn’t think there were any problems, it’s just their team defending their star player. That’s what Lindy does, he wasn’t aiming for a star player, he wasn’t chasing heads, he was just playing like Lindy does. In my opinion, it was a good free kick.
Said Ovechkin, who is 174 goals off Wayne Gretzky’s all-time NHL record: “It was a big success, obviously. He hit my stick. It’s broken. It was good hockey, this is hockey.
Washington has beaten their opponents 29-14 in their current split in the East Division, but the Capitals’ toughest game in that span has certainly been the Blueshirts.
From top to bottom, the Rangers are discovering how to be difficult to face.
If Wednesday’s historic 9-0 win over the Flyers was a fluke, the Rangers followed up with a solid effort on the road against the first-place team in the East.
“It’s hard to digest because we felt like we played really well, I mean we played a really good game on the road,” said Chris Kreider. “They jump on two big opportunities in the third, it was tight throughout. You have to limit the chances of very good attacking teams, so definitely a lot of good takeaways.
Rangers are experiencing an offensive resurgence, and it dates back to when star winger Artemi Panarin returned to the lineup last week after extended leave due to a political punch from Russia.
After scoring a power-play goal in the first period on Friday night, Panarin now has at least one point in every game since returning to the roster on March 13. He scored three goals and four assists for seven points for the Rangers. last four games.
The Rangers have done more than just settle into an attacking groove. They have a new tenacity, spirit and will to win. Maybe the disappointment of a slow start to the season has caught up with them, or their best players are just finding their matches at the same time, but it wasn’t the same team that showed up on the night of opening in january.
The Rangers, led by the Wolf Pack coaching staff for the second night in a row with Blueshirts staff under COVID-19 protocol, have limited Washington to less than 10 shots on goal in each period. After facing just five shots in the first period, then six in the middle of the game, Ovechkin’s two goals marred the Rangers’ efforts.
In the end, Washington was beaten 33-18 and still managed to pull the victory away.
“Ovechkin is a goalscorer, he is obviously known for those nice away goals, but he does a good job of reaching the net and bringing his big body there and was able to score these two obviously very similar goals on the two,” Kreider said. . “This is something that we have to go back and look into and remedy as we go in [Saturday’s rematch]. »