WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals surrendered most of a four-goal third-period lead but held on to defeat the New York Rangers 5-4 at Capital One Arena on Sunday.
Tom Wilson scored twice, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 10th goal in his past nine games for Washington (23-7-4), which has won three straight and 10 of 11. Ovechkin has 724 NHL goals, eight from surpassing Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth all time.
T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for Washington. Ilya Samsonov made 16 saves.
"I feel like there's been times throughout the year where we've gotten ourselves in good position going into the third [and] we maybe take our foot off the gas," Oshie said. "We're getting closer to crunch time here, to the end of the year. Protecting leads is going to be very important, so hopefully tonight we can look at some video and learn from tonight and past experiences and grow that part of our game."
Colin Blackwell had his first two-goal game in the NHL for the Rangers (15-15-4), who have lost two straight, including 2-1 to the Flyers on Saturday, after winning three in a row. Keith Kinkaid made 17 saves.
"Obviously coming off the back-to-back, we wanted to keep it simple," Rangers defenseman Adam Fox said. "Some bounces went their way. They were putting pucks on net, and then by the third we started putting pucks there. It's a game of inches and just came up a bit short."
Video: NYR@WSH: Blackwell scores nifty goal
Rangers coach David Quinn returned to the bench after missing six games while in the COVID-19 protocol.
Kuznetsov scored on a wrist shot from the slot to make it 4-0 at 5:10 of the third period. He has scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.
Blackwell skated by the sliding Samsonov then reached back from behind the goal line to tuck the puck in to make it 4-1 at 6:41. He then scored off a centering pass from Kevin Rooney at 9:41 to make it 4-2.
Oshie's deflection of a Justin Schultz shot put Washington ahead 5-2 at 11:46, but Alexis Lafreniere made it 5-3 when he scored off a rebound at 12:18.
It was the first goal in 13 games for Lafreniere, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
"It was good to see [Lafreniere] get a goal," Quinn said. "I thought that [third] line struggled a little bit earlier in the night, but they played better in the third and down the stretch. It was good to see (Blackwell) get a couple goals, but it just wasn't enough."
The Rangers pulled to within 5-4 on Chris Kreider's power-play goal at 16:08 of the third period.
"I think the positive out of all this is I don't think we've truly played a full 60-minute game this year that we can look there and say first shift to last shift we were solid defensively and all that and we're still continuing to collect points and get some wins," Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon said.
Wilson scored on a backhand off the rebound of Jakub Vrana's shot to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 10:43 of the second period.
Ovechkin made it 2-0 when he shot from along the left boards and the puck appeared to deflect off defenseman Adam Fox's stick and past Kinkaid at 12:51.
Video: NYR@WSH: Ovechkin scores goal from sharp angle
Moments after leaving the penalty box, Wilson batted the rebound of Nicklas Backstrom's shot in out of midair at 15:07 to increase the lead to 3-0.
"Obviously there are some [teammates] that are really hot so just trying to jump on the bandwagon a little bit and help them out," Wilson said. "It's nice when they go in, for sure."
The Rangers had five shots on goal in the second period.
"Yeah, I just didn't think we were sharp during that second period," Quinn said. "We had some power plays that we didn't get a lot from and then I just thought our inability to shoot pucks and get pucks on net and get some chances."
NOTES: Fox and Kevin Rooney each had two assists for New York. Fox has 22 points (two goals, 20 assists) in his past 17 games. … Ryan Strome (assist) has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in a nine-game point streak, the team's longest of the season. … Samsonov is 8-1-1 on the season. … Dmitry Orlov had two assists for Washington. … The Capitals are 2-3 against the Rangers. The teams play at New York on Tuesday.
Video: Wilson, Ovechkin score goals in win