for this game

Star-spangled Sunday: Rangers stay hot, clip Capitals

Feb 12, 2012 - 9:43 PM
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Brandon Prust's short-handed goal early in the third period proved to be the difference, as the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers took down the Washington Capitals, 3-2.

Fresh off a hat trick against the Flyers on Saturday, Ryan Callahan added a goal for the Rangers, who have won three in a row and seven of nine overall. Ryan McDonagh also lit the lamp on Sunday.

Henrik Lundqvist made 10 of his 24 saves in the third period for the victors.

"It's been an intense 48 hours here with two tough games, but it's been a great week for us and we should feel good about ourselves," Lundqvist said. "We made sure there were no excuses with the early starts, and we set the tone early today."

John Carlson had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have lost two straight and seven of 10.

Alexander Semin also scored and Michal Neuvirth turned aside 25-of-28 shots.

Callahan picked up where he left off Saturday, scoring 11:01 into Sunday's game. Brad Richards controlled the puck below the goal line and found Anton Stralman in the high slot. Stralman quickly slid a pass down low for Callahan, who managed to keep control after the disc hit his skate. Callahan lifted a backhander into the back of the net.

Washington tied the game at the 6:31 mark of the middle stanza. Jason Chimera's drop pass to Semin resulted in a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

A nice play by McDonagh put New York back in front with 6:39 left. McDonagh dragged the puck past a sliding defender at the left circle before sneaking a wrister past Neuvirth. McDonagh, who seemed to get his skate caught in the ice on the play, left the game briefly with a left knee injury.

"I have kind of had this injury in the past, and it's just a little tweak, so I wasn't worried," McDonagh said. "It's really OK, and I'm glad that it is. It was a good weekend for us for sure, and we feel good about ourselves, and we should. We're glad we've got this little win streak going here, obviously it's a good feeling, but we are definitely not satisfied. We want to keep climbing up the standings."

Prust gave the Rangers a 3-1 margin at the 6:26 mark of the third. Down a man, Brandon Dubinsky led a 2-on-1 rush down the left wing and his cross-ice pass to Prust resulted in a goal.

"That short-handed one is the critical goal," Capitals head coach Dale Hunter said.

Carlson's blast from the top of the right circle with 2:28 to play made it a one-goal game.

Neuvirth was pulled in the final minute for an extra attacker, but the Rangers held on for the win.

Game Notes

The Rangers have taken two of three from Washington this season...Prust's goal was his first in 49 games dating back to October 20, 2011...New York has an 18-6-2 record as the host this year and has won four of its last five at MSG...New York forward Ruslan Fedotenko missed his second straight game with a head injury...Washington fell to 9-15-3 as the guest this year...Each team went 0-for-2 on the power play...Head coach John Tortorella registered his 130th win with the Rangers, and is now one win shy of Herb Brooks for sixth on the Rangers' all-time coaching wins list.