WASHINGTON (AP)—The Rangers didn’t need another big speech to get them out of their scoring funk.
After a scoreless first period Friday, New York turned up its play in the second 20 minutes, scoring four times before finishing with a season high for goals in a 6-3 win over the erratic Washington Capitals.
“Nothing was said. We’ve had enough meetings the past couple of days about how we need to play,” Tortorella said. “They allowed themselves to play tonight. It was a much more fluid game for us.”
The Rangers had lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak and coach John Tortorella emphasized their mistakes—and how to overcome them.
After New York scored three times in a 4:18 span in the second, Washington quickly responded with two goals, but the Rangers responded without any exhortation from their coach.
Ruslan Fedotenko(notes) scored twice, Ryan Callahan(notes) had three assists, Artem Anisimov(notes) and Brad Richards(notes) had a goal and an assist each and Dan Girardi(notes) had two assists for New York.
Washington coach Bruce Boudreau thought his team’s mental approach left much to be desired.
“We start to feel sorry for ourselves, then we score a goal, and say: `Oh, we’re back into it.”’
But, they weren’t.
“Once it started with those four goals, it seemed to snowball,” Boudreau said. “This is a league where you can’t feel sorry for yourselves.”
Marian Gaborik(notes) scored his 10th goal of the season at 3:37 to give New York a 1-0 lead. He took a cross-ice pass from Derek Stepan(notes) and cleanly beat goaltender Michal Neuvirth(notes) with a slap shot from the right wing.
With Washington’s Cody Eakin(notes) off the ice for a holding penalty, the Rangers controlled the faceoff, and 8 seconds later, Anisimov, who assisted on Gaborik’s goal, shot past a confused Neuvirth at 6:52 for a 2-0 lead. It was Anisimov’s second goal of the season.
It was New York’s first power-play goal after failing on 14 straight attempts.
A little more than a minute later, Callahan stole the puck from Marcus Johansson(notes) in front of the Capitals’ net and dished it to Fedotenko, who easily made it 3-0 at 7:55 with his second goal this season.
The Rangers, who have six American players and an American coach, celebrated Thanksgiving in Washington on Thursday night and tried to forget about their skid.
“We regrouped. We had a good turkey dinner. We were ready from the beginning. Everybody in the whole lineup played solid,” Fedotenko said. “We didn’t try to force too many things.”
Washington, which won its first seven games this season, but has gone 5-8-1 since, quickly narrowed New York’s lead to 3-2.
Carlson made it 3-2 on a power-play goal at 12:52. From about 30 feet, he shot over Lundqvist’s left pad. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Richards’ seventh goal of the season gave New York a 5-2 lead at 4:14 of the third.
Fedotenko scored his second goal—New York’s sixth at 11:40.
Ovechkin’s goal came at 5:57 of the third.
NOTES: New York F Andre Deveaux(notes) served the first of a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann(notes) on Wednesday. … The Rangers recalled F Carl Hagelin(notes) and C John Mitchell(notes) from Connecticut of the AHL, and both assisted on Boyle’s goal. It was Hagelin’s NHL debut. … Carlson’s goal was the Capitals’ first on a 5-on-4 power play in 31 attempts. They scored on a 5-on-3 power play in Monday’s win over Phoenix. … Carlson and Brouwer each had a goal and assist for Washington. Nicklas Backstrom(notes) had two assists. … Capitals D Mike Green(notes) (groin) and D John Erskine(notes) (shoulder) were scratched. … The Capitals play at Buffalo on Saturday. The Rangers host Philadelphia.