Rangers hold on to beat Capitals, 2-1, snap four-game losing streak

NEW YORK (AP) — Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere scored first-period goals and Igor Shesterkin made 24 saves and the New York Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

The Rangers were coming off Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Saturday afternoon and a 1-4-1 overall start to 2024. New York survived constant pressure by the Capitals in the third — and failing to score on five power-play chances of their own — to emerge with the victory.

T.J. Oshie scored for Washington.

Panarin scored his team-best 27th goal of the season 50 seconds into the game with assists to Vincent Trocheck and Jacob Trouba. Panarin leads the Rangers with 59 points and has points in 35 of New York’s 42 games this season.

Trocheck continued his stellar season. He has 13 points, including five goals in his past eight games and 17 points in his past 14 games.

Lafreniere scored his 11th goal of the season with 50 seconds remaining in the opening period, snaring his own rebound after Washington netminder Charlie Lindgren made an acrobatic save. Defenseman Braden Schneider assisted.

Lindgren, brother of Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren, played for the second straight day. He also made a fabulous glove save on Chris Kreider at 15:23 of the second with Rangers on a 5-on-3 power-play and stopped Jimmy Vesey point-blank at 6:27 of the third after Vesey stripped Max Pacioretty of the puck in the Capitals zone.

Washington narrowed the deficit to 2-1 at 11:03 of the second period when Oshie scored his fourth off a goalmouth scramble in front of Shesterkin. Linemates Dylan Strome and Pacioretty assisted.

Shesterkin then denied Oshie at 13:22 of the second and stopped a furious sequence in his crease in the closing moments of the middle period as the Rangers escaped with a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

The 28-year-old netminder, who won the Vezina Trophy in 2021-22, improved to 17-10-0 in his fifth NHL season.

Washington was without Alex Ovechkin for the second straight game with a lower-body injury. The 38-year-old forward was hurt on Jan. 5 when he became entangled with Carolina’s Jordan Staal, then missed several subsequent practices. He has eight goals and 19 assists in 39 games this season. Ovechkin has 830 goals, second to Wayne Gretzky’s record 894.

Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko returned after missing 21 games with a lower-body injury, skating on the right wing with Mika Zibanejad at center and Kreider on the left. The 22-year-old Kakko was injured on Nov. 27 against Buffalo at home in an awkward fall along the boards.


Capitals: Host Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Rangers: Host Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.