Rangers play complete game in win over Capitals

Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist celebrate after the win over Washington. Credit: Getty Images
Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist celebrate after the win over Washington.
Credit: Getty Images

Simply, it was the most complete effort of the season.

And the Rangers were rewarded for their labor.

“I thought we played a full 60 minutes,” captain Ryan Callahan said after the Rangers’ 2-1 win over the Capitals Sunday night at the Garden. The Rangers improved to 8-5-1 and have earned 17 points in their last 12 games.

“I think we’re getting where we need to be,” Henrik Lundqvist said (27 saves). “We’re doing a lot of good things. It’s a good feeling when we play the way we should play and it pays off.”

Facing an opponent that is attempting to re-establish an up-tempo attack, it was the Rangers who were the aggressors throughout. The Rangers out-hit the Capitals, 34-22, and finished with a 69-51 advantage in total shots.

Going hand-in-hand with the chances the Rangers generated was the virtual elimination of offensive opportunities for the Capitals’ skill players.

“Our offensive game has improved quite a bit as far as keeping the puck below the hashmarks, staying aggressive with our forecheck,” Michael Del Zotto said. “One area we wanted to improve on was being more aggressive defensively and closing out early, not allowing teams to get their cycle [going] and spread the puck. We did a good job of that tonight. Pretty much the whole game we carried the play.”

Among the few instances of sustained offensive pressure for the Caps occurred within the game’s first 79 seconds. The Rangers could not clear the puck from their own end and it led to John Carlson’s goal at 1:19.

Then the shooting gallery began for New York and lasted the remainder of the game. Even though they trailed 1-0 at the first intermission, the Rangers had outshot the Capitals, 20-8. The only reason they had not broken through was the play of Braden Holtby (38 saves).

“He plays well against us, that’s for sure,” Derek Stepan said of Holtby. “Throughout the game we kept trying to get bodies in front of him.”

Carl Hagelin equalized it 7:39 into the second period with a tip of a Ryan McDonagh shot. The goal was Hagelin’s sixth in seven games. He has nine points (six goals and three assists) in that stretch.

“With so much speed and [him] going to the net, he’s a hard guy to stop,” Rick Nash said of Hagelin.

The beleaguered power play unit got into the act as Stepan’s man-advantage goal 4:25 into the third was the game-winner. Brad Richards drew the Blueshirts’ fifth power play of the game 4:18 into the period by forcing Karl Alzner to trip him.

Richards won the offensive zone faceoff and moved the puck to Del Zotto, who fired a picturesque cross-ice feed to Stepan, standing on the doorstep.

“It’s good for our power play. Our power play was huge tonight. A lot of good looks. We only score one but we had a bunch of chances,” Stepan said. The Rangers finished 1-for-5 on the power play and had eight shots on goal. “It’s three great passes — even Nash’s spin-o-rama at the blueline was a great pass. A great pass from Brad Richards to [Del Zotto]. I’ll take a bunch of those this year.”

The Rangers lost Darroll Powe for the game 3:44 into the second period with an undisclosed injury. Powe collided with Matt Hendricks and somersaulted in the air before landing on the ice. After laying motionless on the ice for several moments, he was helped to the back by Stepan and Arron Asham.

“Don’t know about Powe,” head coach John Tortorella said.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…