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Sprong sends Capitals to 6-Three win, Rangers eradicated

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Daniel Sprong’s tiebreaking objective early within the third interval propelled the Washington Capitals to a 6-Three victory over the fading New York Rangers, who have been knocked out of playoff competition Monday evening.

Nic Dowd, Conor Sheary, Garnet Hathaway, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson additionally scored for the Capitals as they snapped a two-game skid. Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves to earn the 19th win of his rookie season.

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“It’s a gutsy win,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson mentioned after getting back from a two-game absence. “These are vital factors, vital video games for us as a staff. I believe there have been numerous guys battling additional exhausting. It wasn’t the best of video games the best way it performed out. I preferred the best way we caught with it, overcame some adversity all through totally different factors of the sport.” 

Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Kaapo Kakko had a objective for New York, which dropped its third consecutive recreation. Artemi Panarin added two assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 34 pictures, however the younger Rangers have been eradicated from the postseason image when Boston beat New Jersey. 

“Simply one other stage of disappointment,” coach David Quinn mentioned. “Simply didn’t get sufficient carried out this 12 months. Had some nice moments, some nice stretches, however simply wasn’t sufficient.”

Alex Ovechkin returned to the lineup after lacking 4 video games with a lower-body damage however went to the locker room after enjoying 39 seconds within the first interval and didn’t return. Washington’s captain stays one objective from tying Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL’s profession checklist.

Sprong put the Capitals forward 4-Three at 4:37 of the third. Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith misplayed a puck that arrange Sprong for his 12th objective of the season. 

“He’s making an attempt to assault the sport with pace. He’s a quick participant and I believe the objectives are a results of that,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette mentioned. “When he’s shifting, he’s harmful. … The final 5 or 6 video games, he has performed effectively, he has stood out.”

Backstrom offered insurance coverage when he flipped the puck over Shesterkin’s glove at 11:41 to make it 5-3.

Hathaway knotted the sport at Three together with his sixth of the season at 18:30 of the second. Dowd stripped the puck from 21-year-old defenseman Ok’Andre Miller previous to a scramble in entrance that Hathaway finally capitalized on.

“I believed it was an excellent forecheck by us and that’s one thing we take numerous pleasure in,” Hathaway mentioned. “It’s a line objective for positive — they don’t need to be fairly.”

New York erased a 2-Zero deficit with three consecutive objectives.

Zibanejad notched his second of the sport on the ability play at 2:30 of the second. Ryan Strome discovered the Swedish heart on their lonesome within the slot after receiving a cross-ice go from Panarin. 

Kakko gave New York a 3-2 benefit at 4:35 with a talented forehand-backhand maneuver. Alexis Lafreniere fooled Washington defenseman Zdeno Chara with a deke to his backhand to arrange Kaako.

Zibanejad trimmed the Rangers’ first-period deficit to 1 objective together with his 21st of the season at 18:00. Panarin obtained a go exterior the blue line, then gracefully spun into the offensive zone and located a streaking Zibanejad. The objective snapped a Rangers scoring drought of 144:11 that included back-to-back shutout losses in opposition to the New York Islanders. 

The Capitals gained a two-goal benefit with first-period objectives from Dowd and Sheary simply 92 seconds aside. 

Dowd opened the scoring when his wrist shot zipped by means of the legs of Shesterkin at 14:12.

Washington doubled its benefit when a puck eluded a number of Rangers skaters and located its solution to Sheary’s stick earlier than a turnaround wrist shot. Michael Raffl and Wilson assisted.

Panarin didn’t return after a second-period quarrel that led to a double-minor penalty and 10-minute misconduct for Wilson. The bruising ahead added an empty-net objective late within the third.

“I determine you must have some extra respect for the sport and for the gamers,” Zibanejad mentioned of Wilson’s play. “I don’t actually know the place to start out, it’s simply horrible. Zero respect. I don’t know why I’m shocked, however yeah, simply horrible.”

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ROSTER SHUFFLING

Capitals ahead Evgeny Kuznetsov and goaltender Ilya Samsonov didn’t costume for disciplinary causes after being late to a staff operate. … F T.J. Oshie missed the sport whereas attending to a private household matter. … D Justin Schultz unexpectedly didn’t take part in warmups because of a lower-body damage. Because of this, Washington was solely in a position to costume 17 skaters (11 forwards, six defensemen) as a substitute of the permitted 18. 

BALANCED ATTACK

The Rangers are the one NHL staff that has 5 gamers with a minimum of 44 factors (no different staff has greater than three). New York is certainly one of two golf equipment with three gamers who’ve 20 or extra objectives (Pittsburgh is the opposite).

TRI-STATE AREA

The Rangers are within the midst of a 17-game stretch wherein they solely play within the New York metropolitan space (11 video games at MSG, 4 at Nassau Coliseum and two at Prudential Heart in New Jersey). It started April 6 and can finish Thursday when the Rangers go to Boston.

UP NEXT

The groups conclude their eight-game season sequence Wednesday evening at Madison Sq. Backyard. 

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