Rangers' Grit Brings Second Win at the Garden

Sunday had a plethora of intimidation factors that led to a 4-1 win against the Capitals in Game 1. The Rangers simply outplayed their inferior metro division opponent. With this being a very important game for both teams, the Rangers would've much rather gone up 2-0 than go on the road 1-1. Not to mention a place that the Rangers are an absymal 7-10-3 at since 2015. Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Two
Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Two / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Tuesday Night, April 23rd 2024. Game 2 between the Rangers and Capitals. With the Rangers coming off of a big 4-1 win against the Capitals in Game 1, the Rangers looked to take an almost commanding 2-0 lead. Even though they struggle in DC, the Rangers are 25-12-4 on the road this season. What this means is the Rangers won 45% of their games this year on the road. However, game 2 was NOT easy.

1st Period: Fast, Physical Hockey

The Capitals came out flying from the jump, playing a style of hockey that hasn't been seen in years. Just over 5 minutes into the game, the Capitals had the puck in the Rangers zone. TJ Oshie, who was a thorn in the Rangers side all night, moved it into the slot. Ryan Lindgren poked the puck away but Connor McMichael picked it up and scored. 1-0 Capitals? Yes. The Capitals got the first goal.

A few minutes later, the Rangers had a faceoff in the offensive zone. Vincent Trocheck won it back to Erik Gustafsson who juked out a Capitals defender and found Trocheck again at the top of the slot. Trocheck took the easy tap in past Lindgren. 1-1. The Garden was rockin, and if the Garden is rocking you are in trouble. The one thing you can't do at MSG is let the Rangers or Knicks fans get into the game. If you do, you will easily lose momentum and maybe an ear or two.

One thing that was very common in this game and it all started in the first, was the insane amount of penalties. 4 penalties in the first period, 2 by each side. After TJ Oshie got called on a holding penalty, the Ranger powerplay finally went to work. With about 5:40 to go in the first, there was a puck battle in the corner. Chris Kreider grabbed the puck and passed it to Trocheck. With Mika Zibanejad coming down the far side, Trocheck found Mika and the magic man delivered. PPG Goal. 2-1 Rangers. Bedlam.

2nd Period: Flashy Plays + Hard Hits

The Capitals would go on an early powerplay, and once again would not be denied. Max Pacioretty moved up the right side with the puck before dishing it to Tom Wilson. Wilson skated towards the net and found a streaking Dylan Strome in front of the net. Wilson passed it to Strome for a PPG Goal. 2-2. After Matt Rempe was a thorn in their side for Game 1, the Capitals made sure to make him pay after taking a penalty.

With 7:40 left in the 2nd, the Rangers got another powerplay. Erik Gustafsson played the puck over to Jack Roslovic. Roslovic, was a bit of an underwhelming player for the Rangers since he arrived from Columbus. Roslovic only had 3 goals and 8 points in 19 games. However, this is the playoffs and everything can change. Roslovic fired a wrister that got just over the mask of Lindgren to hit the top of the net and in for a goal. PPG Goal. 3-2 Rangers.

A few minutes later, Gustafsson was called for a delay of game penalty, giving the Capitals a powerplay. Unfortunately, the Capitals powerplay was unable to continue its momentum. In fact things got worse. With 3:13 to go, Ovechkin turned the puck over in the neutral zone and was picked up by Mika Zibenijad, who moved it into the offensive zone. Zibenijad dished it to Kreider and then back to Zibenijad, Mika finds Miller who slots it home. SH Goal. 4-2 Rangers.

Rangers Not Perfect, But Get Win

The Capitals would score in the 3rd making it a 4-3 game, but the Rangers held their own. It was an even third period minus the goal, but Igor Shesterkin stood his ground with 22 saves on 25 shots. The Rangers lead in almost every single stat except for PP % In what was a very gritty hockey game, the Rangers would finish with a 4-3 win and grab a solid 2-0 lead in the series.

What's Next

The Rangers head south to the capital city for Game 3 of the series. As previously mentioned, the Rangers struggle a lot in DC but have been one of the better road games. Game 3 is Friday Night at 7pm.

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