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The Rangers’ season got off to a disappointing start on Wednesday night as they fell to the Washington Capitals, 5-1.
While the Blueshirts put 24 shots on goal and were outshooting Washington for the majority of the game, it was some costly penalties that ultimately doomed them.
Washington had six power plays on the night, and they capitalized on three of them. The third power play goal, Alex Ovechkin’s first tally of the game, made it a 4-0 Washington lead early in the third period, and the Rangers couldn’t dig out of the hole.
Still, despite the three power-play goals, Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant was pleased with the team’s penalty kill effort.
“Way too many penalties. Too many penalties, that’s obviously a thing," Gallant said. "Again, it’s hard to say that, but I thought the [penalty kill] did a real good job,” he said. “All three goals, they usually have their set plays and one of the best power plays in hockey for the last number of years, but tonight one goes off (Mika) Zibanejad’s stick, the first one (Jacob) Trouba has it on his stick and he [doesn't make] a bad clear, but an unlucky clear, and then the last one hits their guy in the chest and then drops to Ovechkin’s stick.
“So, the penalty kill did a good job but they ended up [3-for-6].”
The Rangers will look to clean up those penalties when they host the Dallas Stars in their home opener on Thursday at 7 p.m.