NEW YORK | Adam Oates knew exactly what he was getting against the New York Rangers. His entire Washington Capitals team did, too, after seeing the Rangers so often in recent years.
“They block shots and they make you work for it and they try and capitalize on your mistakes. And we have to be patient,” Oates said Sunday morning. “You’ve got to have the attitude that they’re here to win 1-0 or 2-1. you have to have the same attitude.”
The Caps had that attitude in a low-scoring, tight-checking game that resembled many from last spring’s playoffs. Unlike that series, Washington ultimately won, 3-2 in a shootout to move to within two points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 16 games to play.
Nicklas Backstrom scored on the power play and Alex Ovechkin at even strength to give the Caps an early 2-0 lead. Arron Asham and Derek Stepan tied it at 2, and that’s how it remained until the shootout.