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game recap

Kuznetsov scores in OT, Capitals defeat Rangers

Gets game-winner with 40 seconds left after Skjei ties it late in third for New York

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

Kuznetsov's OT game-winning goal

NYR@WSH: Kuznetsov jams puck home for overtime winner

Evgeny Kuznetsov crashes the net, finds the loose puck near the goal line and jams it home to win the game for the Capitals in overtime

  • 01:14 •

WASHINGTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov scored with 40 seconds remaining in overtime and the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers 6-5 at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin both poked at a loose puck behind Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Kuznetsov was credited with the goal.

"It doesn't matter," Kuznetsov said. "I don't think it matters who scores, right? As long as we got a win."

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and Michal Kempny, Tom Wilson and Nic Dowd also scored for Washington (35-21-7), which is 3-1 in its last four games and trails the New York Islanders by two points for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Pheonix Copley made 26 saves.

Brady Skjei's second goal of the game tied the score 5-5 with 31 seconds left in regulation. Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for New York (27-26-9). Lundqvist made 29 saves.

Video: NYR@WSH: Skjei nets second goal to tie game late

In their first game since trading forward Mats Zuccarello the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Rangers scratched defenseman Adam McQuaid and forward Kevin Hayes with the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET. Each player can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"Listen, it's been an emotional 48, 72 hours for everybody and that felt really good, that goal," coach David Quinn said of Skjei's second goal.

The Rangers, 5-4-1 in their past 10 games, are 10 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 21 seconds in when he converted a cross-ice pass from Vesey on the rush.

Backstrom tied the score at 1 on a one-timer off a pass from John Carlson at 18:42 of the period.

Video: NYR@WSH: Backstrom finishes Carlson's slap pass

Kempny beat Lundqvist from the slot 21 seconds later at 19:03 to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead.

Wilson made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 5:09 of the second period but New York pulled within 3-2 when Skjei's floater from the point eluded Copley at 18:18. Skjei has three goals in his past two games and six on the season.

"[Coach] has been preaching to get pucks through and get pucks to the net. If mine have been finding a way to sneak through and get in I don't know if it's luck or what," Skjei said. "I keep focusing getting pucks through that first layer and even if they don't go in, if they create rebounds that's good."

The Rangers tied it 21 seconds into the third period on Vesey's shot from the point.

Video: NYR@WSH: Vesey scores with knuckler from blue line

Dowd regained the lead for Washington, 4-3, at 2:25 when he converted Travis Boyd's pass from behind the net. Backstrom made it 5-3 at 3:01 when he controlled a loose puck in the left circle and beat Lundqvist to the far side.

The Rangers pulled within 5-4 on a power play when Neal Pionk's shot deflected in off Namestnikov's skate at 6:01.

"We're a team that should be able to keep it 5-3 if we're up by two, but obviously they're opportunistic," Washington's Carl Hagelin said after his first home game with the Capitals. "They found a way to get back in the game and then our leaders stepped up and got us a game-winner."

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Kuznetsov seals the win

 

They said it

"There's an awful lot of good to take out of tonight. Especially we had some unbelievable chances in the overtime. The fact that we fought back from two goal deficits twice. We competed and battled…we weren't pushed around physically or mentally." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

"Get off to a slow start. Obviously, they're able to score on the first shift. But our team hung in there, never quit, battled. That game had a little bit of everything in it for certain. We found a way to get the win." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

 

Need to know

The Rangers scored in the opening minute of a game for the fourth time this season. The Montreal Canadiens and Carolina lead the League with six such tallies in 2018-19. New York's Mika Zibanejad (two assists) has 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. … Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, who was acquired along with a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Friday in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings, made his debut. Paired with Brooks Orpik, Jensen played 14:16. … Fifteen of the 18 Washington skaters registered at least one point.

 

What's next

Rangers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Capitals: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Video: Kuznetsov, Backstrom lead Caps to 6-5 overtime win

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