Garnet Hathaway scored with 2.2 seconds remaining in the second period against the New York Rangers on Thursday and that proved to be the back-breaker in a 6-1 blowout win for Washington in the latest EA Sports NHL 20 simulation.
Result: Caps 6, Rangers 1
Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 26, 2020
Judge Judy puts the boys up 2-0! 👨⚖️ pic.twitter.com/Mi302Si2uP— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 26, 2020
There goes the shutout 👎 pic.twitter.com/LXxbOwnBkx— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 26, 2020
3-1 Caps goal: Garnet Hathaway from Nic Dowd and Richard Panik
4-1 Capitals goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Tom Wilson
Osh Babe is on the board 🍩 pic.twitter.com/pSMA4UAOVM— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 26, 2020
6-1 Caps goal: T.J. Oshie from Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov
How the Caps won
1. Backstrom is red hot
Fresh off his hat trick performance against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, Nicklas Backstrom stayed hot with an early first period goal on Thursday to open up the scoring.
New York had the numbers as the Caps defense headed to the bench for a change. That left the offense with three forwards trying to break into the zone against all five Rangers. Kovalchuk skated it in along the right and hit Hagelin in the middle. Backstrom had two players on him, but made a nice cut to the middle to get inside positioning and had a lane to the net. Hagelin found him and Backstrom finished the play.
2. A late 2nd period goal
The Caps and Rangers exchanged goals after Backstrom and the game was 2-1 late in the second. That's when Hathaway ended it.
Hathaway scored with just 2.2 seconds remaining in the period to extend Washington's lead to two. It was a quick transition from the fourth line and Hathaway crashed the net, getting a stick on the shot from Dowd to deflect it in. Those late goals can be back-breakers and this one clearly was. Kuznetsov scored 40 seconds into the third and Oshie scored twice -- once to finish off the night for Henrik Lundqvist, the other to welcome in Alexandar Georgiev -- as Washington really poured it on.
3. Shutting down Zibanejad
Mika Zibanejad scored five goals the last time these two teams met on March 5, including the overtime winner. On Thursday he was a non-factor. He recorded zero points and had one lone scoring opportunity as he hit the outside of the post, but that was the only time he really threatened Braden Holtby.
The Caps were scheduled to play the Detroit Red Wings on the road on Saturday. The game will be simulated with NHL 20 on NBC Sports Washington at 8 p.m.
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