The Runner Sports

Capitals Win Big In Shattenkirk’s Debut

The Washington Capitals received their newest defenseman just hours before their game against the New York Rangers Tuesday. They then overcame a slow start to defeat the Blueshirts from Broadway 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. The victory was head coach Barry Trotz’ 700th win of his career.

Here are some notes from Tuesday night’s win at the Garden:

Shattenkirk Impressive in First Capitals Outing

He may not have registered a point in his first game in a Washington sweater but Kevin Shattenkirk was just as impactful off the score sheet. From his first shift with Nate Schmidt, he showed that he can be a very important piece of the roster moving forward. He showed great vision with his breakout passes to start the rush and was the Capitals’ only offense in the first period with three of their first six shots. He also looked good on the first power play unit alongside Alex Ovechkin. A great first outing from the newest Capital defender.

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Mojo Brings His Scoring Stick

Marcus Johansson continued his impressive season with one of his best performances of the year. He was one of Washington’s best players on the ice against the Rangers, especially on offense. Both of his goals came from playing close to the net or attacking the crease. His first goal was a tap-in off a rebound from a Dmitry Orlov shot that bounced right onto Johansson’s tape. On his second goal, Johansson deflected a pretty backhand pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov into the top left corner of the net. With his two-goal outing, “Mojo” set a new career high in goals (21). He also added an assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s insurance goal in the third period.

Penalty Kill Comes Up Huge

The biggest stat of the night came from the Capitals’ penalty kill: 100%. They killed off all four Ranger power plays on the night, providing a big boost for the team. Daniel Winnik was especially effective and had a few instances where he carried the play into New York territory to kill the clock. Lars Eller even had a shorthanded scoring chance but it was blocked.

Momentum From a Scuffle and a Review

Two incidents were key factors in the outcome of this game, Washington’s coach challenge and Daniel Winnik’s fight. Before they tied the game, the Capitals were being thoroughly outplayed by the Rangers. In the second period, Winnik dropped the gloves with Adam Clendening in a very one-sided fight. Several seconds later, Johansson tied the score. The Rangers would take the lead back but Barry Trotz challenged the goal. The Capitals won the challenge on the grounds that Ranger Michael Grabner was offsides before he scored. After that, the Capitals took over. These occurrences were the turning points that got Washington on the right track.

What’s Next: The Capitals will head home to Verizon Center for a visit from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Washington soundly defeated the Devils 5-2 in their last meeting on January 26.

Andrew Markowitz

Longtime Capitals fan hoping to see a Stanley Cup parade in D.C. this year...or at least once in my life

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