Washington welcomed the New York Rangers to Verizon center. It wasn’t like their previous games in the past. Neither Braden Holtby or Henrik Lunqvist started for their teams. Cam Talbot was in the net for the Rangers and Philipp Grubauer was between the pipes for the Capitals. Talbot has started 10 times this season. He has a 8-2 record and has posted a .938SV%. Grubauer made his 7th start tonight for Washington. He is 4-1-1 with a .934SV%
The Capitals went to the man advantage five minuets into the game. Rick Nash was called for tripping. As time dwindled down on the power play a pass from Martin Erat found its way to Mike Green at the point who slapped a bullet passed Cam Talbot. The 1st period would end with the Capitals leading the Blue Shirts 1-0.
As the 2nd period started Nicklas Backstrom was called for Interference. The Rangers headed to the man advantage but wouldn’t need it for long. Brad Richards would shoot the puck from the point and Benoit Pouliot would deflect it past Grubauer to knot things up at 1-1.
Mid way through the 2nd the Rangers would be called for Too Many Men (Oh, now they call it?). The Capitals had a tough time getting puck control in the offensive zone. But with 10 seconds left Eric Fehr received a pass from the amazing Swede Nicklas Backstrom. Fehr would shoot it past Cam Talbot. As Verizon Center rejoiced in the Eric Fehr goal the Refs took another looked and came to the conclusion that it never passed the goal line and was waved off.
There was only 1:05 left in the 2nd stanza as Steven Oleksy sent a beautiful pass to no other than Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom was on 1-on-1 breakaway. Instead of trying a fancy move Backstrom decided to slap one past Cam Talbot to give the Capitals a 2-1 edge. The Rangers dominated most of the 2nd half with tons of offensive zone time and increased their total shots to 32, out shooting the capitals by 12.
As the third period started it only took the pesky Carl Haglin 17 seconds to score a shorthanded goal for the New York Rangers. Things were knotted back up at 2-2 a piece with a whole period to play.
With only 5 minuets left Troy Brouwer and Mats Zuccarello would both go off for slashing. 4 on 4 would start in the Capitals zone. A 2 on 2 broke out after a defensive zone face off win for the Capitals. Nicklas Backstrom sent a puck Eric Fehrs’ way. Eric, exactly how Backstrom scored, slapped one past Cam Talbot to give the Capitals a crucial 3-2 lead. Backstrom got his 2nd point of the night and now has 15 assists in the month, he leads the league in assists in December.
Cam Talbot would leave his crease with only 1:30 left in the game to give his team a 6 on 5 man advantage. The Rangers pressured the Capitals zone for almost the rest of the game but could not get the game tying goal. Capitals beat the Blue Rags 3-2. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist, Eric Fehr had a goal, and Mike Green recorded a goal.
Philipp Grubauer saved 39/40 SA. He posted a .970 SV%