The scary thing about the Washington Capitals acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk is just how formidable this team is even without him. That point was quite clear even as Shattenkirk looked quite solid in a debut win vs. the New York Rangers.
In tonight’s case, the Capitals’ vast arsenal of dangerous scorers really shone through.
Flexing their muscles
Marcus Johansson scored two goals and nabbed one assist. Nicklas Backstrom‘s 4-1 goal put a late comeback out of reach, ultimately accounting for the final score. Both Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen (another great right-handed defenseman for Washington) collected two assists.
Beyond the scoring stats, the Capitals impressed in the second period in particular. They fought back from a 1-0 deficit by scoring two goals in that middle frame while generating a 19-9 shots on goal advantage.
It felt like the Capitals were imposing their will at times in this one, giving Barry Trotz his 700th win as a head coach. He’s the sixth coach in NHL history to manage that many victories.
Rough one for the Rangers
This loss hurts the Rangers beyond the scoreboard and standings.
The team will need to monitor the health of multiple players going forward. Dan Girardi was ruled out of as much as two weeks’ worth of games while Mika Zibanejad was a late injury scratch. Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Jesper Fast all seemed to be shaken up during different times in this contest.
Falling short of standings points keeps the Rangers in fourth place in the highly competitive Metro Division.
Well … highly competitive for the second and third spots. We’ll see if anyone can even make Washington sweat, especially now that they added Shattenkirk to an already staggering array of weapons.