The New York Rangers went into Washington D.C. and outplayed the hometown Washington Capitals for most of the game, outshot them 40-34, and held superstar Alexander Ovechkin pointless. Unfortunately for the Rangers only the final score of the game matters, and all of the good that they did throughout the game was just not good enough as the Capitals would go on to win in regulation by a 3-2 score.
You can definitely make the case that the Rangers let two points slip away against the Capitals last night, and so will I.
Besides outshooting the Capitals and holding Ovechkin pointless, there were numerous stretches throughout the game where the Rangers pinned the Capitals deep in their zone and cycled around creating offensive chances. Without a doubt the Rangers controlled the puck more than the Capitals, had more quality scoring chances, and had a better and more consistent forecheck throughout the 60 minute game.
So how did the Capitals end up winning this game?
Well, there were a couple of reasons for that. For one the Rangers took way too many dumb penalties, giving the best power play in the NHL four chances. Now while the Capitals would only convert on one of those power plays, the momentum their offense would receive from those opportunities gave them enough to score not long after the power plays expired.
Unlike the Rangers, the Capitals do not struggle at all to score goals. Even though the Rangers had the better of the offensive chances last night the Capitals do not need a lot of opportunities to put the puck in the back of the net, and the Rangers learned that the hard way.
Overall, while the defense could have been tighter, the Rangers should have gotten the win and two points if they would have just cut down on the penalties. The Rangers had the majority of the better play but ended up with nothing to show for it as they simply let two points slip away in Washington last night.