Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant had been confused with the team’s recent slow starts in their last few games.
The team responded in a big way Sunday afternoon.
New York jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and cruised over the Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals on the road in a 5-2 beatdown Sunday afternoon in D.C.
The Blueshirts got their offense firing on all cylinders early in the nation’s capital. K’Andre Miller got the scoring started in the first period after an Artemi Panarin shot rebounded in perfect position for the defenseman’s 40th point of the season. New York doubled their lead minutes later when Alexis Lafreniere skated through two defenders for his 16th goal of the season.
New York’s Kid Line would continue their constant pressure into the second period as well. Kaapo Kakko would tally his 16th of the year. With Chytil accounting for the assist, it was the 22nd time the entire line accounted for a point in the same game. The Rangers were 19-0-2 going into Sunday with that performance.
Washington would look to get back into the game with a Dylan Strome goal off Shesterkin’s back skate, but reigning Vezina-winning goaltender Igor Shesterkin cruised to his 35th win of the season. Two third-period goals from Vladimir Tarasenko and Mika Zibanejad (his 20th powerplay goal) would give plenty of offense to record the team’s 45th victory of the season.
Sunday’s win gave the Rangers their 101st point on the season – the second straight year the franchise has posted 100-point seasons. It’s only the third time in team history that the Blueshirts have recorded back-to-back 100-point years.
They’ll be back on the ice Wednesday night at MSG to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Ryan Lindgren missed another start Sunday afternoon due to the upper-body injury he suffered back on February 25th.
- New York looked a bit different Sunday due to line changes made by Gallant in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Buffalo. Kane worked with Kreider and Zibanejad while Panarin and Tarasenko worked exclusively with Vincent Trocheck.
- According to the Rangers Stats & Info Twitter account, Panarin reached the 60-assist mark as a Ranger for the third time back in the first period (also 74 in 2021-22 & 63 in 2019-20). He joined Brian Leetch (70 in 1995-96, 80 in 1991-92 & 72 in 1990-91) as the second player in franchise history with three such campaigns.