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The Caps might be kicking the can on the season but any time the New York Rangers pop up on the schedule it’s hard not to take it seriously. The Capitals showed up and they showed up big, pounding the Rangers to a 6-3 win.
Plus: Kuznetsov, who has had a down season, came up big today with three points. It was the Kuznetsov we all know and love.
Minus: Not much to hate on considering the state of the Caps, unless you really want the Caps to lose out for the better draft pick.
-The Caps created the first great scoring chance when Dylan Strome was left alone to the left of Igor Shesterkin, who snagged the shot out of the air. Of all the snake bit Caps, Strome is by far the most snake bitten. Seems like every great chance lately for him is a whiff, a flub, or a great save.
-The Caps got the first power play of the game just a couple minutes into the game. After not doing much with it, TJ Oshie tipped a puck into the net, making it two consecutive games with a tip in power play goal for Oshie.
Most goals scored by a skater in his first 500 games with the Capitals:— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) February 25, 2023
1. Alex Ovechkin (309)
2. Mike Gartner (265)
3. Peter Bondra (255)
4. Dave Christian (193)
5. Mike Ridley (190)
6. T.J. Oshie (174)*
*Scored in first period today
-The Rangers tied it up on a fluky goal with a shot that went off a Cap’s stick in the high slot then off a Rangers hip and in. It’s the bad luck the Caps have just been used to the last 10 games.
-The game began to get real chippy after that. Oshie rammed a Rangers into the boards that definitely road the line of being clean or not. He got into a fight the next shift, which he shouldn’t be doing with his head injuries. Then while the Caps were on the penalty kill already, Evgeny Kuznetsov speared a Ranger where the sun don’t shine giving the Rangers a minute long 5-on-3. The Rangers were unable to convert on the chance after a strong kill by the Caps.
-The game went back and forth, but there was no greater chance than when Conor Sheary fed a puck to Trevor van Reimsdyk along next to the Rangers net, but somehow Shesterkin came up with an amazing toe save. He’s one of the best in the league for a reason.
-Early in the second period, Kuemper came up with not one, not two, but three saves on an odd man rush. The very next play, Oshie potted his second goal of the game after a pretty pass from Strome into the slot. TJ sniped it top corner.
No stopping the Oshbabe tonight pic.twitter.com/LfPWw6p8yE— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 25, 2023
-Every game Wilson has played this season (not many) there’s always a play that makes you think “This team desperately missed this player”. Today was no different when Wilson scored a beauty of break away goal. He lost the puck after a poke check, but found it again, repositioned in tight and ripped it by Sheshterkin to give the Caps a 3-1 lead.
Smoooooth operator pic.twitter.com/nfrDe6TdR9— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 25, 2023
-The Caps created another glorious chance when Sonny Milano and Oshie got into the 2-on-1 after a sweet pass by Kuznetsov. Oshie ripped the possible hatty shot off the post, the puck went back to Kuzmetsov who hit Sheshterkin with a shot, giving Milano a chance, who shot the puck of the corner of the net, it popped out, hit a laid on Ranger on the chest then barely got over the line for the Caps fourth goal. It was the first time in over a month that the Caps scored four goals in regulation. Seems like an eternity.
We love to see it Sonny boy pic.twitter.com/PH7GsjqhW7— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 25, 2023
-Caps weren’t done yet. After an ill-advised play by a Ranger playing a puck that would have been a high stick, Kuznetsov was sent in on a break away, backhanding one pass Sheshterkin and seeing the rare Kuznetsov bird celebration. It gave Caps a 5-1 lead.
-After a Ranger hit Fehervary after the whistle on a delayed penalty against the Caps, Wilson stepped in and did his thing. But that garnered a roughing penalty, putting the Caps down two men for a full two minutes. The Rangers scored on the initial penalty but didn’t on the second so the Caps still held a three goal lead.
-That goal gave the Rangers some life, they put together a couple great shifts and put on the pressure, but Kuznetsov continued his strong game after he was sent in on a break away pulling off a Peter Forsberg to pot in his second goal of the game give Caps a 6-2 lead.
We've had a Gordie, now we got a Foppa! pic.twitter.com/QrJMK1uvGm— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 25, 2023
-The Rangers scored with less than 30 seconds in the game but it didn’t matter. Caps left with a 6-3 win and it felt good.
Up Next: Caps are back at it tomorrow at 1PM against the Buffalo Sabres.