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Sunday, February 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Capitals 1

By Katie Strang



All is well again on Broadway for the Blueshirts, as the New York Rangers bounced back from Thursday's loss to the Islanders by downing the streaking Washington Capitals, 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. A "banged up" Rick Nash appeared to be just fine, as the Rangers unleashed a barrage against Caps goaltender Braden Holtby and held Alex Ovechkin off the scoresheet. Heck, the Rangers even got a power-play goal, as they gained two points in the rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals.

Tic-Tac-Toe: With the game tied at 1-1 in the third period, the Rangers scored the go-ahead goal on a pretty passing sequence from Brad Richards to Michael Del Zotto to Derek Stepan for the finish. Stepan's third goal of the season also served as a much needed power-play marker for the team. The Rangers finished 1-for-5 on the man-advantage.

Tie game: It took 32 shots for the Rangers to finally break through against Holtby. Carl Hagelin was at the doorstep to redirect Ryan McDonagh’s shot at 7:39 to tie the game in the middle frame. Picking up his sixth goal of the season, Hagelin now has seven points in the past four games.

Quick strike: Defenseman John Carlson opened up the scoring for the Caps early in the first period. Carlson unleashed a slapshot that beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist 1:19 into play for a 1-0 Caps lead.

Fantastic first: Washington’s Holtby looked like the same goaltender that gave the Rangers fits in the playoffs last spring. Holtby was terrific in the first period, turning away a whopping 20 shots in the first 20 minutes of play. The 23-year-old netminder was the team’s best penalty-killer as well, holding off an anemic Rangers power play that had 5:40 of time over three man-up opportunities in the first period.

Powe-ow: Darroll Powe was slow to get up after a scary open-ice collision with Washington’s Matt Hendricks. The versatile fourth-liner flipped over Hendricks and appeared to hit his head on the ice. Powe was down on the ice for several minutes receiving attention from the team trainer before he was helped off to the dressing room by teammates Arron Asham and Stepan. Powe did not return to the game.

Kreider scatched: Recalled as a precaution in case Nash was unable to play, 22-year-old Chris Kreider was a healthy scratch Sunday. Kreider was sent down to the team’s AHL club on Friday but later recalled on Saturday afternoon.

Missing Mike: The Caps were without their top defenseman, Mike Green, who sat out Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury suffered in the team’s win over Tampa Bay on Thursday. Defenseman Tom Poti replaced him in the lineup.

Up next: Rangers versus Canadiens, Tuesday at 7 p.m.