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Capitals vs. Rangers Recap: Grubi Grabs a Point, Caps Fall in Shootout 1-0

Philipp Grubauer’s spectacular performance not enough for the Caps in the gimmicky end

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, the first game back from a lengthy holiday break is... something.

First, here's Wednesday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Philipp Grubauer. And Philipp Grubauer. And also Philipp Grubauer.
  • Minus: The Caps suddenly being unable to find the back of the net.

And now, this...

Some more notes on the game:

  • If you thought the first game back after the non-skating three-day holiday break would be a rust-filled snoozefest, well... you were pretty much right. Nothing pretty about that opening frame and nothing all that great to take away from it other than the fact that they survived (and so did we).
  • The Caps power play is inexplicably bad right now.
  • If you ever want to feel really good about the Verizon Center Capital One Arena ice, just take in a game at MSG. The world’s “most famous arena” has garbage ice on the best of days, but tonight was particularly bad and it was amazing that anyone stayed on their feet for any length of time.
  • ...but let’s be serious, the biggest story of this one was Philipp Grubauer, as he put together what was easily his best game of the season so far. He was good early and seemed to get better as the game went on, culminating in an insane sequence to open the third in which he faced seven shots in the first two minutes and stopped them all. All told he stopped 37 shots total, 18 in the third period alone, and was the sole reason the Caps managed even a point in this one.
  • Nothing doing in regulation, or in overtime, so it was up to the shootout to decide this one...y’know, fake hockey. And that’s the only way the Rangers manage to pierce Grubauer, who was by far the better goaltender despite the result.

Ondrej Pavelec earning the win over Grubauer is why hockey is stupid sometimes. As is the shootout. And also the Rangers in general. Alas... onwards.

Game highlights: