New Jersey

Rangers Fall to Capitals 4-1

Marcus Johansson had two goals and an assist to help Washington beat the Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday night in Kevin Shattenkirk's first game with the Capitals.

Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom also scored and Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots as the NHL-best Capitals gave Barry Trotz his 700th career victory. Evgeny Kuznetzov and Matt Niskanen had two assists each.

Shattenkirk, acquired from St. Louis on Monday night, had four shots on goal in 17:57 of ice time.

Brady Skjei scored in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 34 saves as the Rangers lost for the second time in three days on home ice after going 5-0-1 in their previous six at Madison Square Garden.

After stepping up their play in the latter stages of the first period, the Capitals were in control in the second as they scored twice and outshot the Rangers 18-9.

Johansson tied it at 1 on a rush about 7 1/2 minutes into the middle period when he knocked in the rebound of a shot by Dmitry Orlov for his 20th.

Michael Grabner appeared to give the Rangers the lead with less than eight minutes remaining as the puck deflected up off Kuznetsov's leg and Holtby's helmet and dropped on the goal line before the Rangers forward knocked it in. However, Trotz challenged for offside on the Rangers entering the zone, and the goal was waved off after a lengthy video review.

Washington took the lead later when Lars Eller sent a pass that went off Niskanen's stick to Connolly, who put it in for his 13th with 3:34 to go in the period.

Johansson made it 3-1 at 1:15 of the third, deflecting a shot by Kuznetsov over Lundqvist's right shoulder for his 21st.

Backstrom scored a power-play goal that deflected up off Skjei's stick and over Lundqvist and in for his 19th with 2:03 left. John Carlson got his 200th career assist on the play.

The Rangers controlled the pace for much of the opening period, outshooting the Capitals 11-5 over the first 16 1/2 minutes before Washington had the final three shots of the first.

Washington's Tom Wilson hit Derek Stepan into the boards about 5 1/2 minutes in and the Rangers' center slowly skated to the bench.

Skjei put the Rangers up 1-0 when he tipped a pass from Adam Clendening past Holtby for his third at 5:08 of the first period. It gave the rookie 30 points for the season, including his two goals and 13 points in the last 18 games.

Skjei also hit a post with a slap shot with about seven minutes left in the first, and Jimmy Vesey's backhander in close was denied by Holtby less than 10 seconds later.

NOTES: Trotz is sixth on the NHL coaching wins list. ... Washington's Karl Alzner played in his 571st regular season game, breaking a tie with Ken Klee for ninth on the franchise list for defensemen. ... The Capitals improved to 7-8-3 when giving up the first goal and 32-1-1 when leading after two periods. ... The Rangers won the first two meetings with the Capitals, 4-2 at Washington on Oct. 22 and 2-1 at home Feb. 19. The teams conclude the season series at Washington on April 5. ... The Rangers acquired D Brendan Smith from Detroit for two draft picks and swapped minor league players with Buffalo. ... New York, without D Kevin Klein (back spasms) for the fourth straight game, announced D Dan Girardi will miss 10-14 days due to an ankle injury. D Steven Kampfer was recalled from Hartford of the AHL and rookie F Pavel Buchnevich was assigned to the Wolf Pack. ... The Rangers are now 25-9-1 when scoring first.


Capitals: Host New Jersey on Thursday night in the opener of a three-game homestand.

Rangers: At Boston on Thursday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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