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RECAP: New York Rangers defeat Capitals 4-1 for 2nd straight win

Feb 20, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92). Skates with the puck as New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) defends in the first period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92). Skates with the puck as New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) defends in the first period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome scored 59 seconds apart late in the second period to help the visiting New York Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals in a Saturday matinee.

The Rangers, who scored just seven goals in their past five games, earned their second straight victory. The goals by Lafreniere and Strome gave New York a 3-0 edge and helped end Washington’s brief two-game winning streak.

Goalie Igor Shesterkin finished with 26 saves for the Rangers.

For the Capitals, Vitek Vanecek started his 13th straight game, but goalie Ilya Samsonov is on the taxi squad and could be seen in Sunday’s match-up against the visiting New Jersey Devils.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead when Chris Kreider scored with 5:03 left in the first period. It was a power-play goal set up by an Artemi Panarin shot from the left circle that Vanecek stopped but the rebound bounced to Kreider in front of an open net.

Washington put itself in trouble with back-to-back penalties right before the goal. The Caps killed off the first one, but Lars Eller was whistled for hooking just 10 seconds later — and Kreider scored less than a minute later.

New York then stretched the lead to 3-0 with those goals 59 seconds apart late in the second period. Lafreniere made a quick move in front after taking a Panarin pass and beat Vanecek on a back-hander with 2:16 left.

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Then, Strome fired a long shot past Vanecek with 1:17 left for the three-goal edge. But Dmitry Orlov registered his first goal of the season with 39 seconds left, scoring on a sharply angled shot that cut the Caps’ deficit to 3-1.

Washington could do no more, though, as New York’s Mika Zibanejad added a short-handed empty-net goal late in the third period.

New York forward Kaapo Kakko missed Saturday’s game and will reportedly be placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list. But the Rangers did get defenseman K’Andre Miller back after he sat out two games with an upper-body injury.

–Field Level Media