Capitals 4, Rangers 1
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 40 saves in only his second National Hockey League start to lead the Washington Capitals to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
The win was Grubauer's first in the NHL.
Left wing Jason Chimera, defenseman Steve Oleksy, center Mikhail Grabovski and defenseman Nate Schmidt scored for Washington, which has won two in a row.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 of 36 shots for New York, who has lost consecutive games for the fifth time in the 2013-14 season.
Washington scored twice in a 25-second span of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Chimera poked a loose puck past Lundqvist 2:28 into the period. Oleksy's slapshot at 2:53 increased the lead to 2-0.
Before the end of the period, Grabovski pushed the advantaged to 3-0 when he ripped a slap shot on a penalty shot past the New York netminder. Grabovski was given the penalty shot after New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh hooked him on a breakaway.
Washington's lead grew to 4-0 on Schmidt's second of the season.
New York was headed for its sixth shutout loss until left winger Benoit Pouliot redirected defenseman Michael Del Zotto's point shot with 1:53 left.
The game mostly resembled a track meet as the teams skated up-and-back, but did not generate much in terms of sustained time in the attacking zone. The Capitals finished with 36 shots while New York only generated 31.
Heading into the third period with a 3-0 lead, Washington intensified its defensive effort. New York did not generate a shot on goal until 8:01 into the period.
The Rangers' best chance to get back into the game came when Olesky was called for holding New York center Derick Brassard 10:53 into the third. But the Rangers were only had four shots on goal in the two-minute power play.
All three goals came at even strength. Washington was 0-for-2 on the power play while New York went 0-for-2.
Washington improved to 16-12-2. New York dropped to 15-15-1.
NOTES: Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist entered Sunday night's match against the Capitals with a 180-minute shutout streak against the Capitals. He had shut them out in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series last May, and blanked Washington 2-0 on Oct. 16 at the Verizon Center. ...Capitals RW Alex Ovechkin came into the game trailing Peter Bondra by one on the franchise's all-time list for power play goals. Bondra scored 137 power-play goals in 891 games with the Capitals. Ovechkin played in 628 NHL games prior to Sunday night and had scored 136 goals on the man advantage. ... New York coach Alain Vigneault said before the game D Marc Staal had "symptoms" due to a check from New Jersey Devils RW Reid Boucher in the third period of New York's 4-3 overtime loss Saturday night. Michael Del Zotto dressed in place of Staal.