Instant analysis: Rangers 2, Capitals 1

Instant analysis: Rangers 2, Capitals 1
February 17, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Don't blame Holtby for Caps latest loss

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers Sunday night at Madison Square Garden:

Game in a nutshell: The Rangers scored on their third-period power play and the Caps didn’t. The Rangers snapped a 1-1 tie with the game-winner 4:25 into the third period with their 37th shot. With Karl Alzner in the box for tripping Brad Richards, Derek Stepan finished off a perfect tic-tac-toe play by teammates Richards and Michael Del Zotto to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The Caps had a chance to tie when Rick Nash went to the box for tripping John Erskine, but the Caps failed to cash in and had their three-game winning streak snapped.

How the Caps scored: The Caps grabbed a 1-0 lead on their second shot when John Carlson blasted a Mike Ribeiro tap past through Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for his second goal of the season. The goal came after Eric Fehr rang a shot off the left post.

How the Rangers scored: The Rangers tied it on their 30th shot of the game when Carl Hagelin slipped behind Tom Poti and redirected a shot-pass from Ryan McDonagh 7:39 into the second period.

Killers: Both teams were outstanding on the penalty kill through the first two periods, with each team killing off three power plays.

Hit of the night: Early in the second period Rangers forward Darroll Powe lined up Matt Hendricks for a neutral zone hit. But when Powe lowered his shoulder, Hendricks avoided the hit and Powe went flying, hitting his head on the ice. He had to be helped off the ice and into the dressing room with an apparent concussion. Powe did not return.

Captain talk: Caps captain Alex Ovechkin and Rangers captain Ryan Callahan went jaw-to-jaw a few times, renewing what could be a great rivalry that got heated during last year’s playoff series.

What’s ahead: The Capitals will get the day off on Monday, then hit the ice for back-to-back practices Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for a rare home-and-home set against the Devils Thursday and Saturday.