New York Rangers pick up an important win against the Washington Capitals

After a slow start to the season, the New York Rangers had one of the better games of the season in defeating not only one of the better teams in the East Division but one of the better teams in the NHL. In defeating the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Thursday night, the Blueshirts have won two games in a row and are 3-0-1 in their last four games.

Ryan Strome had two goals and Artemi Panarin had three assists in the victory.

With the two goals, Strome tied a single-game career-high with two goals and has posted a two-goal game for the 10th time in his NHL career. He now has 99 goals in his NHL career, and he has tallied 98 points with the Rangers. Strome extended his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists), and he has also tallied a point in five of the last six games (three goals, two assists), per @NYRStatsandInfo

Despite the strong performance from Strome and Panarin, the goal of the night goes to Anthony Bitetto when in the second period, he carried the puck behind the net, regathered it in the corner after getting checked by Carl Hagelin, and then went up the left-wing boards. He then avoided a hit from Nick Dowd before cutting into the middle, avoided a stick check from John Carlson, and beat Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek with a backhand.

Pavel Buchnevich scored into an empty net with 27 seconds left accounted for the Ranger’s final goal.

Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves for his third straight win.

In the loss, Capitals’ superstar Alex Ovechkin scored his 709th goal to move into seventh place in NHL history. Ovechkin is eight goals away from Phil Esposito, who is sixth in league history with 717 goals.

“I like a lot about our game right from the get-go,” a pleased head coach David Quinn said after the game in his Zoom conference. “We were all dialed in, we were mentally and physically ready to go. Our penalty kill stood tall again and Shesty had a good and I thought a bunch of people stepped up tonight.”

Quinn also addressed the fact that these two points are very important for a team that needs to do some catching up in this abbreviated 56 game schedule. “I don’t care where we are playing, on the moon or here, we need points,” Quinn said. “It is a little bit different with no crowds as playing at home is a little bit different as is playing on the road but we have to continue to be dialed in. We are starting to get a little Mojo and feeling good about ourselves. When you get seven out of your eight points you start to feel good about yourself.”

The Rangers were slated to play Saturday afternoon at New Jersey, but it was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak for the Devils. The Rangers will have the weekend off before returning to action Monday night at home against the Islanders.