Just when things seemed to be looking up for the Washington Capitals, they now find themselves in the middle of a two-game losing streak. The Caps fell 4-1 at home on Sunday to the New York Rangers. The loss comes just a day after losing to the New York Islanders.
After winning three in a row and five of their last six, the Capitals must now regroup and try to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.
Washington started the scoring on Sunday when Steven Oleksy scored his first NHL goal just over two minutes into the game. Jason Chimera and Marcus Johansson assisted on the goal.
Unfortunately for the Caps, that was all of the offense they would muster.
The Rangers evened the score at one in the first period on a goal by Derek Stepan. Marian Gaborik and Ryan McDonagh were credited with the assists.
McDonagh would play a key role in the victory, totaling two assists and keeping Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin off the scoresheet.
New York took over in the second period, getting goals from Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan. The later goal came via the power play and chased Washington goalie Braden Holtby to the bench in favor of backup Michal Neuvirth.
Brad Richards added an insurance goal late in the game for the visitors.
Rangers backup goalie Martin Biron did a masterful job filling in for Henrik Lundqvist, stopping 28 of 29 shots. That performance earned him the first star of the game.
The Capitals played a sloppy game, especially in the final two periods, making mistakes in their own zone and giving power-play opportunities to New York. Though Washington entered the game ranked second in the NHL in power-play percentage, the team failed to score on all three chances in the game.
As much of a setback as this loss is, the Caps can still make a move up the standings in the Southeast Division. They are currently six points behind the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.
Those two teams play a home-and-home series on Tuesday and Thursday this week.