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Capitals vs Rangers Recap: Evgeny Kuznetsov Strikes in OT to Drop Rangers, 6-5

Nicklas Backstrom scores two and Evgeny Kuznetsov finishes it in OT to take the 6-5 decision over the New York Rangers.

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

What can we say about today’s game? The Capitals were hoisted by their own petard after letting the Rangers sneak early goals behind them multiple times throughout the game. The back-and-forth affair was hardly a good look for anyone involved, but the Capitals scrape by to get the two points with a 6-5 win over the Rangers in OT.

Here’s your Saturday afternoon plus/minus:

Plus: Nicklas Backstrom gets the monkey off his back and scores two to break a 12-game scoreless streak.

Minus: The number of the day is 21, which is incidentally the number of seconds it took Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey to score at the start of the first and third periods.

Here’s 10 more notes about the game:

  • Ugly game yesterday against the Sabres, but this is a great chance to bounce ba– what do you mean Chris Kreider scored? 21 seconds into the game? Rangers 1-0.
  • What do the Caps and I have in common? We both slept through the first 17 or so minutes of the first period.
  • The Caps come alive as John Carlson fakes out Henrik Lundqvist with a slap pass to Nicklas Backstrom to set up a goal with 1:18 to go in the period. Backstrom’s goal snaps a 12-game goalless streak for the Swede, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. But wait, there’s more! Just 22 seconds later Michal Kempny goes five-hole to put the Caps up 2-1 heading into the intermission. Shots are even 7-7 heading into the second period.
  • The Rangers forget how counting works at the Caps go to the power play early in the second period. Tom Wilson parks out front and takes a goal line feed from Jakub Vrana to score his 17th of the season. Some of us are happier than others...
  • Recently-acquired Nick Jensen wins hearts and minds with a spirited defensive display while playing without a stick. Great to see this from Jensen in his Capitals debut.
  • Brady Skjei scores on a wonky floater and suddenly the Rangers are within striking distance with less than two to go in the second. Tough one to see Pheonix Copley give up.
  • Jimmy Vesey – who I personally feel deeply betrayed by after he wrote a Players’ Tribune article about how much he loved the city of Boston and then signed with the Rangers – scores 21 seconds into the third period. Not a great game to go to if you’re a fan of getting snacks during the intermission.
  • Nic Dowd and Nicklas Backstrom score 36 seconds apart to break the 3-3 tie. Is a Nic(k) Hat Trick a thing and if not, can we make it one? No matter, because Vladislav Namestnikov scores to pull the Rangers within one again at 5-4. For those counting at home, that’s four goals in the first 6:01 minutes of the period.
  • Some words are exchanged and the Caps and Rags get into a bit of a tiff with 13:37 to go in the third period. Matt Niskanen and Ryan Strome – or as Edmonton Oilers fans and I like to call him, Not Jordan Eberle – get into a scuffle and we get the read out on a mile-long penalty list.
  • In a twist which...everyone expected, the Caps do not protect their lead and a second goal by Brady Skjei sends us to OT. At the tail end of a chaotic sudden death period, the Russian Connection saves the day as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov combine to close out the game for the Capitals.

And finally, this...

So that game sure did happen! We’d like to see some more defensive responsibility from our forwards and approximately 300% less early goals, but hey, I’ll take two points any day.