NHL Game Summary - Washington at NY Rangers
(Tuesday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Washington 5, NY Rangers 4 (OT)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Shaone Morrisonn scored 59 seconds into overtime, as the Washington Capitals rallied from a four-goal deficit to stun the New York Rangers, 5-4, in a battle of division leaders at Madison Square Garden.
In the extra session, Michael Nylander stick-handled from end-to-end and his intended pass went off a New York defenseman. Morrisonn followed up the play and pulled the trigger on a slap shot from inside the left circle that sailed over the glove of Henrik Lundqvist.
Alex Ovechkin registered two goals and an assist for the Southeast Division- leading Capitals, who have won six of their last seven games. Nicklas Backstrom notched three assists, while the uneven Jose Theodore stopped 21- of-25 shots for Washington, which had lost seven straight at MSG.
Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers, who have dropped two straight and sit atop the Atlantic Division. Chris Drury collected three helpers, while Lundqvist allowed five goals on 36 shots in defeat.
The league's reigning MVP and scoring champ, Ovechkin put Washington on the board with 7:25 remaining in the second period.
Washington continued to chip away in the third period. While on the power play, Tomas Fleischmann positioned himself in the low slot and deflected Backstrom's rocket from the right point over Lundqvist's glove at the 1:41 mark, cutting New York's lead in half at 4-2.
The Capitals converted on the power play once more to make it a one-goal game. Viktor Kozlov darted down the middle, took a pass from the crafty Backstrom and snapped a quick wrister off the far post at 7:04.
Fittingly, Ovechkin completed the amazing comeback with 7:22 remaining. Nigel Dawes dished to Drury, but the puck rode up the Rangers captain's stick. Ovechkin knocked down the puck with his right glove at the New York blueline, raced in and tucked the puck past Lundqvist.
"A really tough (loss). It shouldn't have happened," said Lundqvist. "They had a good start in the third and we never really recovered."
New York jumped on the injury-riddled Capitals, scoring three times before the game had reached the 12-minute mark.
Markus Naslund got things started at 3:38 of the first period, netting his team-leading 13th goal of the season. Scott Gomez, celebrating his 29th birthday, played the puck along the left boards, carried into Washington's zone and chipped it ahead to Nikolai Zherdev in the faceoff circle.
The fourth overall pick in 2003, Zherdev displayed his tremendous skill, pulling up, twirling and whipping a pass to the slot for the equally talented Naslund, who redirected the puck behind Theodore.
Michal Rozsival lit the lamp at 11:04 to make it 2-0. Right off the draw to Theodore's left, Drury fed the veteran defenseman at the right point and he let fly a seemingly harmless wrister that eluded the Washington netminder on the short side.
Callahan then scored 11 seconds later to chase Theodore from the game temporarily and stretch New York's lead to three.
Brent Johnson played the remainder of the frame for the Capitals, making three saves, before the 2002 Vezina Trophy winner was inserted back between the pipes at the beginning of the second period.
"I had a couple of minutes to regroup when the coach pulled me," Theodore said. "I knew we had the energy to turn things around. We always say a two- goal lead is the worst lead in hockey and you could see they started to panic."
Callahan found the back of the net again at the 4:48 mark of the middle stanza, corralling a feed from Dawes, skating in on a breakaway and beating Theodore on a backhand-to-forehand move.
Right wing Alexander Semin (back), center Sergei Fedorov (ankle), and defensemen Mike Green (shoulder) and Tom Poti (groin) were out of the lineup for Washington...Washington right wing Andrew Gordon made his NHL debut...Ovechkin, who leads the Caps with 22 goals, tallied a game-high 13 shots. Washington is 15-0-1 in his last 16 multiple-goal games...New York defenseman Paul Mara appeared in his 600th career game, while Rangers right wing Colton Orr played in his 200th career contest.
12/23 23:22:04 ET