With none of the pressure of chasing a playoff spot, the New York Rangers get to play fast and loose, giving young players a shot. The Washington Capitals took advantage of all that space, and they rolled to an early 3-0 lead at Alexandar Georgiev‘s expense.
Alex Ovechkin scored from his “office” for the third goal about midway through the first period, collecting a goal from his familiar-yet-unstoppable wheelhouse.
Ovechkin did so on the power play, giving him 45 goals during the 2017-18 season, and 603 goals (and possibly counting). He still hasn’t hit his 1,000th regular-season contest yet, as this is game 997.
The other goals were probably tougher for the Rangers to take, even though they weren’t all on Georgiev.
T.J. Oshie was afforded far too much time and space with only Georgiev to stop him, as three Rangers approached Nicklas Backstrom at the blueline. Backstrom made a nice pass (an even more common occurrence than Ovechkin scoring from his office?) and Oshie scored his 17th goal of the season.
After that 1-0 goal, Matt Niskanen enjoyed a ton of time close to the net. He eventually waited out Georgiev to get just enough room to score a sweet, funky 2-0 tally:
Ovechkin’s 3-0 goal made it three goals on just six shots on goal, and Georgiev got the hook in favor of Ondrej Pavelec.
With an impressive .926 save percentage coming into tonight’s game, Georgiev has been quite effective in tougher circumstances during his auditions for the Rangers. It was curtains for the 22-year-old early on Broadway on Monday, though.
Update: To be fair, Pavelec just allowed a goal to Evgeny Kuznetsov, so this could just be a long night for the Rangers.
It was a pretty one, too.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.