Rangers erase early deficit in 4-3 win over Capitals in Game 2

The Rangers erased an early deficit Tuesday night in beating the Capitals, 4-3, to take a 2-0 lead over Washington in their first-round series in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Vincent Trocheck, Mika Zibanejad, Jack Roslovic and K’Andre Miller scored goals at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers have won 11 of their last 14 home playoff games.

Teams that have taken 2-0 leads in the NHL playoffs have generally fared very well in best-of-seven series – according to, they are 348-55, an .864 winning percentage.

-The Rangers were a terrific comeback team all season, notching a team record and NHL-best 28 comeback wins in the regular season, including 20 when they were trailing first in a game, another franchise mark. That theme played out again Tuesday after they fell behind, 1-0, early and rebounded.

-The Rangers gave up a goal at the 5:09 mark when Connor McMichael scored for the Caps, but Washington’s lead did not last long. At the 7:56 mark, Trocheck tipped the puck past Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren on a shot by Erik Gustafsson. It was Trocheck’s 10th career playoff goal and first this postseason. The Rangers kept up the offensive pressure, even creating several short-handed chances after Jacob Trouba was sent off for interference. The Blueshirts killed that penalty and didn’t stop buzzing. At one point midway through the period, Kaapo Kaako got a pass in front to Alexander Wennberg, but Lindgren stopped Wennberg’s shot. But with 5:32 left in the period, Zibanejad scored a power-play goal on a deflection off a Washington defender after a nice setup pass from Trocheck for a 2-1 New York lead. The Caps had only seven shots in the first period.

-The Rangers penalty-kill unit started the series hot, squashing the first six Washington power plays, including two early ones in Game 2. But the Caps tied the score in the second period with a power play goal early on after Matt Rempe was sent to the box for roughing. Tom Wilson slipped a pass in front of the net to Dylan Strome, who swatted it past Igor Shesterkin.

-The Blueshirts wrested the lead back with two second-period goals. The first came from Roslovic, who tallied his first career playoff goal in his 22nd career postseason outing. The goal came at the 12:26 mark of the period and with six seconds remaining in a power-play chance that came when Washington’s John Carlson was whistled for a cross-check. Then, with the Caps on another power-play after Gustafsson was cited for delay of game when he shot the puck over the glass, the Rangers made the shorthanded pressure they had been putting on Washington all night pay off. Miller scored a shortie at the 16:52 mark for a 4-2 lead following a pretty passing sequence after Zibanejad created a turnover. Zibanejad passed to Chris Kreider, who passed back to Zibanejad, who found a trailing Miller for a shot past Lindgren.

-In the third period, Artemi Panarin checked TJ Oshie hard into the boards and there was a scrum immediately afterward, another instance of physical play in a series full of it. Panarin was not penalized, but Washington’s McMichael was given two minutes for roughing and Oshie skated off to the locker room. Nothing came of that Ranger power play, though. Oshie later returned.

-With 8:15 remaining in the third period, the Caps pulled to within one goal when Wilson, a “favorite” of the 18,006 at the Garden, scored a power-play goal on a tip-in. The Washington power play came after the Rangers had too many men on the ice and were slapped with a bench minor, shortening their own power play and ultimately giving the Caps some man-advantage time.

-Vincent Iorio, the Washington defenseman who left Game 1 following a check by Alexis Lafreniere, was scratched in Game 2 on Tuesday. Lucas Johansen, a 26-year-old who has nine games of NHL experience over three seasons, was in the lineup for his playoff debut.

Zibanejad for his goal and nifty passing on the Miller goal that proved to be the game-winner.

The Rangers travel to Washington D.C. for Game 3, looking for a 3-0 series lead. Puck is scheduled to drop Friday at 7 p.m.