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Caps earn first win over Rangers with second period surge

Caps earn first win over Rangers with second period surge

Final score: Washington Capitals 4, New York Rangers 1

How it happened: After a slow start, the Caps responded in a big way in the second period. Sparked by a Daniel Winnik fight, Marcus Johansson and Brett Connolly scored in the second period to put the Caps up 2-1.The Caps took control down the stretch as Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom both added insurance tallies in the third.

What it means: The win is Washington’s first over the Rangers this season in three games. It was also career win No. 700 for head coach Barry Trotz. The Caps are now 13-7-5 against Metropolitan teams and have erased the sour taste left by their last loss to the Rangers and Saturday’s loss to the Predators. Amazing what you can do when you don’t have to play a team 22 hours after another game.

Goals

Rangers goal: Brady Skjei from Adam Clendening and J.T. Miller at 5:08 in the first period. Skjei went directly to the front of the net off the rush and the Caps’ left him all alone allowing the easy layup fro the opening goal. Caps 0, Rangers 1

Capitals goal: Marcus Johansson from Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov at 7:28 in the second period. Johansson and Orlov passed back and forth on the rush. Orlov then wristed a shot off the pad of Henrik Lundqvist. The kick out save sent the puck right to a waiting Johansson for the goal. Caps 1, Rangers 1

Capitals goal: Brett Connolly from Matt Niskanen and Lars Eller at 16:26 in the second period. Niskanen found a seam in the defense and drove to the net, but lost the puck. Lucky for him, Connolly was in front of the net and the puck rolled right to him. Connolly then spun around for the quick shot and the goal. Caps 2, Rangers 1

Capitals goal: Marcus Johansson from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen at 1:15 in the third period. Johansson sent a slick backhand pass from Kuznetsov to the top shelf with a fantastic deflection to the top shelf to beat Lundqvist. Caps 3, Rangers 1

Capitals goal: Nicklas Backstrom (power play) from John Carlson and Marcus Johansson at 17:57 in the third period. Backstrom got a fortuante defelction off the stick of Skjei that completely handcuffed Lundqvist. Caps 4, Rangers 1

3 Stars

1. Marcus Johansson: Johansson always seems to score in bunches. After being held off the scoresheet for five games, the Swedish forward scored twice including a fantastic deflection to the top-shelf to help lead the Caps to the win. Johansson's two goals now give him a career-high 21 for the season.

2. Kevin Shattenkirk: The Caps' newest acquistion's debut was a good one. He registered four shots on goal including three in the first period. He looked right at home on the power play, feeing Alex Ovechkin right in the office. Matt Niskanen and John Carlson have struggled at times giving him perfect setups on the power play. That was not the case on Tuesday for Shattenkirk.

3. Daniel Winnik: Winnik's fight with  Adam Clendening in the second period was the turning point of the game. Winnik took exception to a big hit from Clendening and dropped the gloves with the Rangers' defenseman. That moment seemed to spark the Caps. When Winnik went into the penalty box, the Caps were down 1-0. Just 11 seconds later, Johansson tied the game at one.

Look ahead: The Caps return to Washington for a three-game home stand starting on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils. They will also host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and the Dallas Stars on Monday.

Tell us what you think: Kevin Shattenkirk got his first game as a Cap on Tuesday, registering four shots on goal and playing the point on the power play. What were your first impressions of the team's new blue liner? Do you think he provides what the Caps needed?

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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