Rangers defeat Capitals, ending 3-game skidWASHINGTON - Henrik Lundqvist earned his 46th NHL shutout, Brad Richards assisted on two New York goals less than two minutes apart in the second period, and the Rangers beat familiar postseason foe Washington, 2-0, on Wednesday night to end a three-game losing streak.
Richards helped set up goals by Ryan Callahan and John Moore, and Lundqvist made the limited offense hold up in a 22-save performance against the Capitals. It was his first shutout during what has been a poor start to the season. By the game’s end, some Rangers fans were chanting his name.
The Rangers won for only the second time in six games under first-year coach Alain Vigneault. Their season-opening road swing still has three more stops.
Unable to generate much offense, even with their formidable power play, three-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals fell to 2-5.
These teams have met in four of the past five postseasons, splitting those series. The Rangers eliminated the Capitals in the first round in May, with Lundqvist getting shutouts in Games 6 and 7. He was just as good Wednesday, earning chants of “Hen-reek!” late in the third period. His teammates got to Capitals goalie Braden Holtby with a couple of quick scores.
Moore scored his first goal of the season 12:05 into that period during 4-on-4 play, after Ovechkin was sent to the penalty box for slashing Derek Stepan during a short-handed breakaway. Callahan then knocked in his third of the season, and third in two games, by cutting across the crease to beat Ovechkin and defenseman John Carlson to Richards’ centering pass.
The Capitals entered the night having been outscored 9-4 in the first period this season. While they again were outplayed at times, and outshot 11-8, over the first 20 minutes, they didn’t fall behind right away.
The Capitals entered the night second in the NHL on the power play, at better than 35 percent, but went 0 for 4. AP
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