NEW YORK – Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 7-3 win over the New York Rangers Sunday night at Madison Square Garden:
How it happened: Trailing 3-1 after one period, the Capitals ran off six unanswered goals – one each by Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams, Jason Chimera and Marcus Johansson – to record their second straight comeback victory. The Caps chased starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist with five goals on 24 shots through two periods.
By the numbers: Williams (2 goals, 1 assist), Johansson (1 goal, 2 assists) and Nicklas Backstrom (3 assists) led the Capitals with three points each.
Isn’t that special? The Caps went 2-for-3 on the power play, getting goals from Ovechkin (his team-high 17th of the season and 492nd of his career) and Williams. They also scored their second shorthanded goal of the season, both off the stick of Jason Chimera, who turned a Tom Wilson takeaway into his eighth goal of the season.
How bad was it?: It was so depressing inside Madison Square Garden that when Marcus Johansson made it 7-3 with 4:36 gone in the final period, the in-house DJ played, “96 Tears” by Question Mark & The Mysterians.
Sweet vindication: After Caps coach Barry Trotz said Braden Holtby needed to bounce back from his shaky performance against the Rangers back on Nov. 3, Holtby allowed three goals on the first 15 shots he faced and there was some question whether he would be pulled for backup Philipp Grubauer for the start of the second period. Trotz stuck with his starter and Holtby responded by stopping 20 straight shots while the Caps went on their scoring spree. Holtby improved to 21-4-1 with the win.
Don’t mess with Holts: With the score tied at 3 midway through the second period, Holtby gave Mats Zuccarello a shove in the crease and Rangers forward Tanner Glass followed with a punch at Holtby’s chest. That’s when Tom Wilson hunted down Glass like a wild boar and both went off with roughing penalties.
Look ahead: It will be interesting to see if Holtby or Grubauer gets the call when the Caps complete their pre-Christmas schedule with a visit to Raleigh on Monday when they face the Carolina Hurricanes.