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Capitals vs. Rangers: Kempny Returns With a Goal and Carlson Shines in 5-2 Win

John Carlson has three points in win over the New York Rangers.

NHL: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a New York-Washington matchup in the District. No, this isn’t a (potential) World Series game, it’s the Capitals and Rangers’ first showdown of the season!

The Capitals closed out their three-game homestand with a win, and Nicklas Backstrom tied Daniel Sedin for fifth-most assists by a Swedish-born player (648a).

Most notably, though, John Carlson continued his stellar October with three points against New York, helping the Capitals to a 5-2 victory. He is now first in assists and tied for first in points in the league. With 17 points, he is matched only by Connor McDavid – also known as Connor McMichael’s blonder, overachieving alternate universe persona.

Plus: The Capitals are outscoring their opponents 14-3 in the second period, and have tallied a goal in every single middle frame this season. If Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t standing on his head to keep the Blueshirts in it, that scoring margin could be even wider.

Minus: The sequence leading to the Rangers’ second goal was less than ideal. The Capitals had trouble getting the puck out the zone, allowing Mika Zibanejad to quarterback the play for the Rangers. Doesn’t help that Radko Gudas took himself out of the play for a hit, either.

Plus, ten more notes on the game:

  • The Capitals get on the board with a quick strike on the power play by T.J. Oshie, who jammed a rebound in at 2:24. Per Peerless, Oshie’s fifth of the season is the 200th goal on the man advantage by the Capitals against the Rangers in the all-time series.
  • The Blueshirts get one back on the power play. Mika Zibanejad set up a wide open Pavel Buchnevich for the goal with a smooth pass through a seam.
  • Welcome back, Michal Kempny! After a lengthy time out of the game, the defenseman made his first period of the season count. Kempny’s eventful period included: an interference penalty, a questionable hit from Brendan Lemieux, and the go-ahead goal to put the Caps up 2-1.
  • Early in the second period, Nic Dowd gets his first of the season. The Rangers look, frankly, terrible in their own zone, and Dowd is able to bang in the rebound after extended time in the offensive zone.
  • The Rangers continue to make problems for themselves. This time, Brady Skjei hooks Jakub Vrana on the breakway and V gets assessed a penalty shot. Vrana can’t convert and the score remains 3-1 Capitals.
  • Garnet Hathaway heads down the tunnel after a hit by Jacob Trouba with 8:47 left in the period. He heads down the tunnel and is out for the remainder of the period, but returns in time for the third.
  • The Rangers get one back late in the frame – Artemi Panarin scores with 3:04 left to make it 32. The Capitals didn’t help themselves out on the preceding play by failing to make a clear, and Zibanejad continues to set things up for the Rangers. Chris Kreider gets the other helper on the goal.
  • After forty minutes of play the Capitals lead in shots 25-18. Plenty of times during the period where Henrik Lundqvist has kept the Rangers in it, including a stop on Dmitry Orlov on a shorthanded chance. Guess they call him King for a reason...
  • The boys are fighting – Garnet Hathaway gets in a scuffle with Brendan Smith midway through the third period and Capitals go to the power play. Oshie gets his second of the game off a redirect on Carlson’s shot, making it his first multi-goal game of the season.
  • Hathaway gets the empty netter to put the Capitals up 5-2 and this game is overrrrrrrr.

And finally, this...

Onward to Chicago...