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New York Rangers Beat Washington Capitals 2-1 on Hockey Night in America

February 17th, 2013 at 9:21 PM
By PJ Foti

'Derek Stepan' photo (c) 2010, Robert Kowal - license:

The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 Sunday night at Madison Square Garden behind Derek Stepan's game-winning power play goal. Yes, you read that right, a power play goal.

It may have been the prettiest power play goal the Rangers have ever scored, because it definitely was the best one they scored this season. The goal came just seven second into the power play. The Brad Richards won the draw back to Rick Nash, who wheeled the puck to the point and dropped it back for Richards.

Richards flung a pass to Michael Del Zotto, who one-timed a cross-ice pass to Stepan, who buried the goal. It put the Rangers up 2-1 in a game they should've won by a much larger margin.

They out shot the Capitals 40-28, winning the shot battle in all but the third period. Braden Holtby did his best the keep the Capitals in the game, especially through the first two periods. He made 20 saves in the first period and 13 in the second while conceding just one goal.

That goal come off the stick of Carl Hagelin, who has been on fire of late. He now has six goals on the year. Rick Nash fired a shot from the point that Hagelin was able to deflect past Holtby. That goal tied the game midway through the second frame.

The Capitals got the scoring going very early in the game. The Rangers looked dead in the first two minutes of the game, and Washington took advantage. Henrik Lundqvist, who made 27 saves in the win, was frantic early on, making a save he had no business making prior to allowing the first goal of the game.

An Eric Fehr shot was blocked and came out to John Carlson at the point. Marian Gaborik was supposed to be covering the point, but was nowhere in sight so Carlson had a free shot at Lundqvist. His slap shot beat Lundqvist high just 1:19 into the game.

From that point on, the Rangers took over the next two periods, heavily out-playing the Caps.

A scary moment occurred when Darroll Powe collided at center ice with a Capital player and went down to the ice for several minutes. He needed to be helped off the ice and didn't return. There is still no word on his status.

The win improved the Rangers' record to 8-5-1, 17 points, and the Caps dropped to 5-9-1, 11 points. Up next, the Blueshirts host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

Tags: Brad Richards, Braden Holtby, Carl Hagelin, Darroll Powe, Derek Stepan, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, John Carlson, Marian Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash, Washington Capitals

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