Posted October 16, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Given the way his Washington Capitals responded, coach Adam Oates might want to give positive speeches more often.
Then again, Washington may not need it against the road-weary New York Rangers.
The Capitals hope to build on their promising performance Wednesday night when they look to deal the Rangers a fourth straight loss.
The clubs meet for the first time since a first-round series in last season's Eastern Conference playoffs, when New York rallied from a 2-0 deficit and ousted Washington with a 5-0 victory in Game 7.
Although both teams entered this season with high expectations, they've struggled to get on track during slow starts.
After totaling four goals during a three-game skid, Oates gave his squad a positive power talk during Sunday's practice, instead of dwelling on the negative. A day later, the Capitals (2-4-0) responded by scoring three goals in less than four minutes of the second period en route to a 4-2 win over Edmonton.
"We're not as confident as we should be, but a lot of guys got goals," Oates said. "We feel better about ourselves and hopefully, that cures some of it."
Washington was 1 of 10 on the power play during its skid before going 2 for 3 with a man advantage against the Oilers.
Star Alex Ovechkin, who leads the Capitals with three power-play goals, has picked up where he left off after posting 22 goals and 34 points in his final 21 games last season. The winger ranks among NHL leaders with six goals and nine points as he tries to lead Washington to back-to-back wins on this five-game homestand.
Ovechkin had 10 goals and 19 points over a 21-game stretch versus the Rangers (1-4-0) before he was held without a point over the final five games of last spring's playoff series. However, he should feel confident facing a New York team that has allowed 20 goals during a three-game losing streak and a league-worst 5.0 per game overall.
After yielding 10 goals in his previous two starts, Henrik Lundqvist bounced back by stopping 16 of 17 shots in relief of Martin Biron in a 5-3 loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Biron was assigned to Hartford of the AHL on Monday after recording a 7.61 goals-against average in two games. He's been replaced by Cam Talbot, who was 2-0-1 with a 2.54 GAA for Hartford.
Expected to get the start, Lundqvist seeks his third straight shutout against the Capitals after blanking them in Game 6 and 7 last May.
"There are going to be stretches when the puck is really big and stretches when the puck is a lot smaller," Lundqvist said. "At the same time, it can turn around for you pretty quick."
That appears to be the case for Washington's Braden Holtby, who has given up seven goals in his last three starts after allowing eight in his first two.
The Capitals likely will have to contain Brad Richards, who has four of the Rangers' NHL-worst nine goals. He has three scores in his last four regular-season trips to the nation's capital.
New York, however, has placed Rick Nash on the injured reserve list because of a head injury, while Washington defenseman John Erskine could return after missing two games due to an upper body injury.
The Rangers have four stops left on a season-opening, nine-game trip. They've dropped 9 of 13 in Washington - including postseason meetings.
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AROUND THE WEB
Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates took a different approach after his team's third straight loss.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, Oates focused on what was good about the club's recent play.
One day after Oates' positive power talk during practice, the Capitals scored three goals in less than four minutes of the second period en route to a 4-2 win...
Joel Ward, Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer scored goals in less than four minutes of the second period, and the Washington Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
With the score tied at 1, Ward took advantage of a power play and scored his first goal of the season at 10:06 of the second.
Ovechkin added his sixth goal 3...
(Bill Boyce, AP)
No doubt about it, the Rangers have been incredibly underwhelming to start the season. They were outplayed in Phoenix, dismantled by Anaheim and San Jose, and bested by St. Louis (although they played well in that game). If not for strong showings in Los Angeles last week and Washington last night, we would be talking about the winless Rangers, not the 2-4 Rangers...
Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera has been fined $4487.18 the maximum allowable under the CBA for boarding Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz in NHL Game No. 80 in Washington on Monday October 14 the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:19 of the first period. Chimera was assessed a minor penalty for...
Veteran goalie Martin Biron and rugged forward Arron Asham are being assigned by the New York Rangers to Hartford of the AHL after clearing waivers.
The moves were announced on Tuesday, one day after the players were placed on waivers following New York's rough 1-4 start to the season. The Rangers recalled center J.T. Miller and goalie Cam Talbot from Hartford to replace them...
Thankfully, the Washington Capitals didn't need Mike Green's attempted hit on the Oilers Jesse Joensuu to preserve their win to keep Edmonton as the worst team in the Western Conference...
The Capitals scored three goals in a 3:55 stretch in the second period for a 4-2 win to snap their three game losing streak...
Joel Ward, Alex Ovechkin and Troy...
NEW YORK (October 15, 2013) – Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera has been fined $4,487.18, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for boarding Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz in NHL Game No. 80 in Washington on Monday, October 14, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:19 of the first period. Chimera...
No penalty on the play and Stepan did leave the game but did return.
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
The Rangers finally put together a complete team effort tonight, beating the Washington Capitals by a score of 2-0. The win was Henrik Lundqvist’s first shutout of the season. Every player on the Rangers played well, and the systemic breakdowns in defensive zone coverage were few and far between. This team wasn’t perfect, but they limited their...
Playoffs or regular season, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely perfect the past three times he has faced Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
So what if the Rangers were struggling under first-year coach Alain Vigneault? Lundqvist felt good about his team's chances Wednesday night, then backed that up with his 46th NHL shutout in New York'...
In response to Cam Talbot being recalled to the Rangers and Martin Biron deciding his future since demotion, the Hartford Wolfpack have promoted goalie Jeff Malcolm from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. Malcolm was part of the first round of cuts from Rangers camp in September, and then was cut from Hartford two weeks later.
The ECHL has not started their season yet, so there...
Not only did Joel Ward have an unfortunate bathroom adventure, but now he has a video highlight on the main page at NHL.com! Too bad it's this:
That's a rough start to the season. Better luck next year, Joel.
It was like night and day honestly it was with rays of sunshine shining on a Rangers team that operated Wednesday night like a synchronized unit following the dark dysfunction that marked most of the opening five games through the western badlands.
The Blueshirts were precise confident and poised in defeating the Capitals 2-0 behind a sharp performance from Henrik Lundqvist that...
Despite getting part of his jersey taken off, Tom Wilson gets the decision over Justin Falk.