Capitals season ends with sweep by Rangers

Washington drops Game 4 to New York by a final of 4-2
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals 2023-24 season ended on Sunday night at Capital One Arena as the home team tried to hang with the mighty New York Rangers but fell in Game 4 by a final of 4-2 to get swept by the Blueshirts four games to none. It was the first time the Caps have been swept in the playoffs since the second round of 2011 where they bowed out to the Lightning.

Kaapo Kakko struck first for the visitors 57 seconds into the game. Martin Fehervary would tie it at 14:54 off a nice pass from Aliaksei Protas. Dylan Strome had the secondary assist and it was Fehervary's second goal of the playoffs.

After Adam Fox sold a Nick Jensen tripping call, the Rangers got awarded a power play. Vincent Trocheck struck with the PPG at 19:44 causing Tom Wilson to get mad and wreak some havoc on Fox to get peanlized.

In the second period Hendrix Lapierre tied it off a feed from Alex Alexeyev as the kid finished off some nice stick work driving to the net. It was his first goal of the playoffs and the type of goals we can expect from Lappy in the years to come. It came at 7:48.

Then Trocheck drew a high stick from T.J. Oshie in the third period and Artemi Panarin gave the Rangers the lead for good with a PPG. That goal was at 3:21.

The Caps had two power play chances, getting their second one at 5:01 as Barclay Goodrow was whisled for hooking Connor McMichael. The Caps had zero shots on those power play chances. At 17:18 Rasmus Sandin was called for tripping Panarin and the Rangers put it away with a PPG and the empty netter at 19:09 from Jack Roslovic.

The players will convene for exit interviews back at MedStar Capitals Iceplex soon. Then General Manager Brian MacLellan and a couple of key players will have some decisions to make about their future.

You have Nicklas Backstrom who is likely going to annouce a retirement but who knows. It would still shock folks if he tried to get back on the ice, however. Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Max Pacioretty are unrestricted free agents, likely gone.

Then you got some restricted free agents in Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn that you got to re-sign as key parts of the future. Whatever direction the Caps decide to go in the summer, younger and faster has to be the route they take.