March 18, 2018

Washington Capitals Game 64 Recap: Can’t win ‘em all, Caps fall to Rangers


(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Can’t win ‘em all.

The Washington Capitals once again started slow but scored two second-period goals to tie it up going into the third period.

Unfortunately, the New York Rangers didn’t stick to the script.

Derek Stepan scored 17 seconds into the final frame and Antti Raanta filled in admirably (depending on your point of view) for the injured Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers downed the Caps 3-2 at Verizon Center.

The Capitals (47-13-4, 98 points) are 26-6-2 at home this season and have earned a point in 25 of its last 29 home games.

The Rangers came out looking like the team that had the previous night off instead of the Caps. Jepser Fast scored his ninth of the season a mere 5:47 into this one, before many at the Verizon Center had even settled in, banging home a bouncing rebound in front of Braden Holtby.

Then later in the first with Karl Alzner in the box for tripping, Keith Yandle made it 2-0 with his fifth of the season, a wrist shot from center point that beat Holtby (20 saves) high.

Washington got on the board in the second. Jay Beagle scored his first goal of the calendar year, stuffing home a loose puck in a mad goal-line scramble. It took the officials nine minutes to review and confirm — though it’s nearly impossible to tell from replays — and the Rangers then challenged for goalie interference. But the goal stood.

Then right before the end of the period, T.J. Oshie came down the left wing on the rush on a power play, and whipped it past Raanta to even it up.

The celebration lasted throughout intermission, but was quashed just 17 seconds into the next frame. Stepan corralled a loose puck along the wall, drifted into the slot and sent a weak wrist shot towards the goal that defected off Brooks Orpik and went behind Holtby, who was left to shaking his head afterward.

NEXT GAME: The Caps face Bruins in Boston at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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