RECAP: Ryan Strome’s two-goal game powers New York Rangers past Washington Capitals

By Field Level Media
Feb 4, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Carl Hagelin (left) scores a goal against New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Strome scored twice, Artemi Panarin collected three assists and the host New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Thursday night.

Strome scored New York’s first goal 1:41 into the game and then finished off a two-on-one with Panarin with 12:05 remaining after by lifting the puck into the right side of the net after exchanging cross-ice passes through the slot.

It was Strome’s 10th career two-goal game.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Rangers, check out #NYR rumors, rankings, and news here.

Defenseman Anthony Bitetto scored in the second period and Pavel Buchnevich added an empty-net tally as the Rangers improved to 3-0-1 in their past four games.

Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves and withstood being hit in the jaw by an Alex Ovechkin shot in the second period. He also stopped Ovechkin six times before the Russian superstar scored his 709th career goal with 8:59 remaining in the third period to move past Mike Gartner into sole possession for seventh on the NHL’s all-time list.

Carl Hagelin had the other goal and Vitek Vanecek made 27 saves as the Capitals took their second consecutive regulation loss after opening the season 6-0-3.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Capitals, check out #ALLCAPS rumors, rankings, and news here.

The Capitals made it 3-2 when Ovechkin flipped a one-timer from the middle of the slot over Shesterkin after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff against Mika Zibanejad.

Following Ovechkin’s third goal of the season, the Capitals missed a chance to tie the game with about seven minutes left when Jakub Vrana hit the crossbar.

Shesterkin started off strong by making a sprawling glove save on Ovechkin 50 seconds into the game. Less than a minute later, the Rangers took the lead.

Panarin chipped the puck out of the left corner and fed defenseman Adam Fox, who was positioned near the middle of the blue line. Fox threw a shot through traffic and Strome leaned in for the tip-in.

Bitetto made it 2-1 with 10:45 remaining in the second when he eluded three defenders in the high slot and slid a backhander under Vanecek’s stick. It was his third career goal and first since Nov. 18, 2017, when he was with the Nashville Predators.

Washington halved the deficit with 63 seconds left in the second when Shesterkin was unable to control a rebound of Garnet Hathaway’s shot from the right circle, allowing Hagelin to bat the puck into the net.

–Field Level Media