Rangers Defeat the Capitals in Game 2 Thanks to Zibanejad and Trocheck

The Washington Capitals were defeated 4-3 by the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, with goals and assists from both Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck.

The series is a best-of-7, with New York leading 2-0.

For the Rangers, who are the top seed in the Metropolitan Division, Jack Roslovic and K’Andre Miller each scored, while Erik Gustafsson and Alexis Lafrenière each had two assists. Making 22 saves was Igor Shesterkin.

Roslovic remarked, “It’s great to see every single person chipped in,” “The goalie made great saves, guys made good blocks, made great plays, [were] hard on the puck. It’s everything that New York Rangers hockey needs to be.”

The Capitals, the second wild card from the East, were led by Dylan Strome’s goal and an assist from Tom Wilson. There were 23 saves by Charlie Lindgren.

Game 3 is this Friday in Washington.

Forward Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals stated, “I think we make a couple mistakes, a couple bad bounces, and they have skilled players, a lot of skilled players.” “I thought we played a much better game than the first game (a 4-1 loss in Game 1). We all know we can play against this team. It was mistakes, a bad bounce off the boards, and we just have to stick together. It’s not going to be easy for us, and it’s not going to be easy for them as well.”

Five minutes into the first period, Connor McMichael gave Washington a 1-0 lead by scoring his first NHL playoff goal from close range off a loose puck.

“I think it was one our big keys to the game coming out strong and setting the tone early, so it was nice to get an early goal,” McMichael stated. “That was how we wanted to start, but, obviously, they came back with a couple goals in the first. So, just dial that in a little bit and I think we’ll be good.”

At 7:56, Trocheck beat Lindgren to equal the score at 1-1 by diverting a pass from Gustafsson.

Rangers captain Jacob Trouba stated, “We were expecting them to come out hard.” “They did. They got that first goal. Throughout the first period we responded pretty well … We wanted to keep building, but I thought we did a good job of weathering the storm at the start, putting our pieces together and playing more of the style of game that we want to play.”

At 14:28, Zibanejad scored on a power play to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The shot came from the right circle and rebounded off Alexander Alexeyev, the Capitals defenceman.

“Mika’s been awesome for us, especially these last two games,” Miller stated. “Doing a lot of different things for us on the power play, PK, 5-on-5, at the end of the game, beginning of the game. Whatever you want to say, he’s been doing it all, so he’s been really special for us and we’re really special to have him.”

At 4:14 in the second half, Strome leveled the score 2-2 by tipping in a Wilson feed on a power play.

At 12:26, Roslovic scored a power-play goal from the right circle to give New York a 3-2 lead again. In 22 games, it was his first goal in the playoffs.

“It was amazing, just to kind of find the spark was great,” Roslovic stated. “It’s great to kind of help the team in that way.”

At 16:52, Miller extended the lead to 4-2 with a short-handed goal after Zibanejad caused Ovechkin to make a mistake in the neutral zone.

“We’ve been doing a good job of pressuring them on their power play,” Zibanejad stated. “I think when we pressure like we do, there’s opportunities to go for it and we had some good looks and at least we got one so that was a big one.”

In the series, eight different Rangers players have scored eight goals.

Spencer Carbery, coach of the Capitals, described them as a “They’re a very deep team,” “There’s a reason why they won the Presidents’ Trophy. So, we know that. Having said that, they’ve got good players, and we feel like we can play right there with them.”

At 11:45 of the third quarter, Wilson used a power play to narrow the lead to 4-3.

Strome remarked, “I thought we fought back well, we bounced back,” “We feel like we’re right in this series. Obviously, they’ve got to come to our rink now and, obviously, we’ve got to find a way to win one here at some point. But I thought we battled, we worked hard and it’s disappointing to lose that way on a short-handed goal, but those are bounces sometimes that don’t go your way.”