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Washington at New York

Caps beat Rangers for season-best five wins in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The Capitals' high-powered offense was rolling again, only it wasn't the usual suspects who did the damage in Washington's fifth straight win.

Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and defenseman Mike Green were mostly kept in check, but an unlikely supporting cast rallied Washington to a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

Matt Hendricks' third-period goal gave the Capitals their first lead of the night. Ovechkin had two assists, and Green and Semin both had four-game goal streaks snapped, but Washington got plenty of offense from Brooks Laich, John Erskine, and Mike Knuble.

Laich added his second goal of the game into an empty net with 5.6 seconds left to seal it. Laich has five goals this season. Hendricks, Erskine and Knuble have combined for five.

"It's really important when different guys score," said Ovechkin, who with eight goals is one behind Semin for the team lead. "They deserve to score goals. They work hard, they play great, and they make good plays."

In a wild and physical game that featured surprise scorers on both sides, the Capitals beat the Rangers for the fourth consecutive time. Washington is 9-1-1 in its last 11 against New York and 4-0-1 at Madison Square Garden over three seasons.

Brian Boyle, who had never scored more than four goals in a season, had two to raise his total to seven, and Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard netted his first in nearly five years, but it wasn't enough. New York squandered three one-goal leads and lost for the third time in four games.

"I thought we were going to get one at the end," Boyle said. "That would have been a great win for us. You can't fault the effort, but you have to find a way to win."

The Rangers (7-7-1) fell to 2-5-1 at home.

"It's frustrating," Rangers coach John Tortorella said tersely.

Following a Rangers turnover in their end, Hendricks, who earlier had a knee-on-knee collision with defenseman Steve Eminger, took a crisp backhanded pass near the right post from Matt Bradley and snapped a shot past goalie Henrik Lundqvist at 7:53 for the winner.

"The forwards didn't come down to support the breakdown, and it is in our net," Tortorella said. "I thought we were controlling the period up until then."

Knuble got Washington even for the third time when he cleaned up a rebound for a goal after a thrilling rush up ice by Ovechkin shortly after a Capitals power play ended midway through the second.

Ovechkin glided past Sean Avery as he surged into the New York end and then made his way around lunging defenseman Marc Staal before shoving the puck on net. Lundqvist got his stick on it, but directed it in front right to Knuble, who scored into an open net at 9:18 for his first goal in 14 games.

New York nearly led again moments later, but Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal waved off because of goalie interference.

Erskine made it 2-all with his first goal in 32 games, dating to Jan. 26, but only his eighth in 338 NHL games. Erskine skated to the top of the left circle and fired a slap shot that beat Lundqvist over his right shoulder at 2:34.

Before the surprise wore off, the crowd witnessed another shocking goal by Boogaard.

The puck bounced past Sloan at the right point, and Boogaard skated alone into the Washington zone. When he reached the left circle, the fighting forward unleash a slap shot similar to Erskine's and beat goalie Michal Neuvirth over his right shoulder 41 seconds later to make it 3-2.

Boogaard, who has three goals and 565 penalty minutes in 268 career games, scored for the first time since Jan. 7, 2006, at Anaheim while playing for Minnesota.

"Hopefully, I don't get on a streak like that again," he said.

The first period was particularly rough and chippy considering these teams were meeting for the first time this season.

It started early when uncommon fighters, Washington defenseman Mike Green and Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky, dropped the gloves and removed their helmets at 5:17 deep in the New York zone. Dubinsky stalked the retreating Green to the other side of the zone before they got together and exchanged punches.

Boyle scored twice around Laich's goal in a first period that featured 25 shots and 28 penalty minutes. Boyle made it 1-0 at 4:02, Laich tied it on a power play at 8:52, and Boyle connected again during a Rangers advantage at 12:56 to make it 2-1.

Boyle has scored three times in three games.

"We were behind, but I thought we played pretty well in the first period," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Sometimes a team is beating you 2-1 or 1-0 and you think there is no way we're going to come back, but I thought there was a good vibe on the bench."

Notes

  • The Capitals have outscored opponents 15-2 in second periods during their winning streak.
  • Boyle has two two-goal games this season. His previous high for goals in a season was four.
  • New York held a 28-23 shots advantage.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brooks Laich deflects the puck for the Caps' first goal and he also concludes the scoring with an empty-netter. (Getty Images)
Brooks Laich deflects the puck for the Caps' first goal and he also concludes the scoring with an empty-netter. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Washington  (10-4-0) «1225
NY Rangers (7-6-1)2103
Three Stars
M. Hendricks
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Boyle
NYR


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
A. Ovechkin
WAS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:02 - Brian Boyle (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Girardi, Avery
08:52Power Play - Brooks Laich (4), Tip-In. Assist: Semin, Ovechkin
12:56Power Play - Brian Boyle (7), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
02:34 - John Erskine (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Sloan, Hendricks
03:15 - Derek Boogaard (1), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
09:18 - Mike Knuble (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Ovechkin, Green
3RD PERIOD
07:53 - Matt Hendricks (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Bradley, Laich
19:54 - Brooks Laich (5), Empty Net. Assist: Green, Alzner
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:17Green, 5 min, Fighting
05:17Dubinsky, 5 min, Fighting
08:06Chimera, 2 min, Roughing
08:06Boyle, 2 min, Roughing
08:28Christensen, 2 min, Tripping
08:52Avery, 2 min, Bench - Abuse of Officials
10:53Ovechkin, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
11:15Green, 2 min, Hooking
16:29Hendricks, 2 min, Roughing
16:29Sauer, 2 min, Roughing
16:29Sauer, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
06:21Gordon, 2 min, Hooking
07:05Girardi, 2 min, Boarding
3RD PERIOD
12:25Alzner, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
WAS145571
NYR118969
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Michal Neuvirth60:00333
Henrik Lundqvist58:42194
Game Information
Attendance - 18200
Referees - Justin St. Pierre, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Greg Devorski
 
Other Games
Edm 1 Final
Car 7
Tor 0 Final
TB 4
Van 0 Final
Mon 2
Atl 2 Final
Ott 5
Cal 4 Final
Colo 2
Ana 3 Final
OT
SJ 2