With the Stanley Cup Playoffs just one week away, the New York Rangers wanted to have a good showing and end their season series against the Washington Capitals strong, but it was going to be a challenge with some key play makers out such as Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, and Brady Skjei. Unfortunately, time was not on the Blueshirts’ side as they were shutout on Wednesday night, 2-0.
It was a battle of goaltending between Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby, who put on impressive showings for their respective clubs. The first period went scoreless. Late in the second, who else but Alex Ovechkin netted his NHL-leading 18th power play goal to make it 1-0 Capitals. To begin the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov made it 2-0 and that would be the only scoring of the game as the Rangers were shutout.
With that victory, the Washington Capitals also secured the 2016-17 Presidents’ Trophy for best record in the NHL. They won this prestigious award the last two seasons, but a shocking stat to note: only one out of the last eight teams to capture the trophy won the Stanley Cup.
Following the game, Henrik Lundqvist told reporters, “We played really well tonight. It was a tight game.”
The Blueshirts conclude their season Saturday afternoon in Ottawa and Sunday night at home. It was announced that the New York Rangers would officially play the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs and the Capitals would face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. One week until the most important, and best, time of year.