Capitals give up five unanswered to Rangers

The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Rangers 5-1 at Madison Square Garden to drop to 17-10-5 and 39 points, for second in the wild card while the Rangers extend their first place lead in the Metropolitan Division.
Aliaksei Protas, Washington Capitals
Aliaksei Protas, Washington Capitals / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals struck first with a goal from Anthony Mantha at 4:12 of the second period for his 11th goal of the season, tying last year. Rasmus Sadin and Aliaksei Protas had the assist.

The Rangers went on to score five unasnwered goals. The first came from K'Andre Miller at 7:03. They took the lead on a goal from Artemi Panarin at 12:08 on the power play. 40 secondds later they went up 3-1 thanks to Braden Schneider.

In the third period at 6:54 Miller had his second goal of the game. The Rangers capped off the scoring with Alexis Lafreniere. The Rangers outshot the Caps 31-27 overall but the Caps did have the edge in shots 10-7 in the first period while the Rangers had the edge 11-10 in the second and 13-7 in the third.

The Caps will have a practice today at noon from UBS Arena before they take on the New York Islanders tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network 2. The next night the Caps return home to host the Nashville Predators.

We could see the Caps debut and return to the NHL of Max Pacioretty this weekend. Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery told reporters, "Patches is getting real close, real close. Whether it's this weekend, it's right around the corner here."

The Caps offense continued their struggle and now rank 30th in the NHL in goals scored at five on five. Carbery added, "At the end of the day, we have to start scoring at five on five, if you're going to be quality team in this league. We can defend, we can check, we're detailed, we're organized. But you got to score... and we just don't have that right now."

In other news Hershey Bears coach Todd Nelson has been named coach of the Atlantic Division for the AHL All Star Classic this February.