Lindgren blanks Rangers as Caps spoil Laviolette's return to Washington
WASHINGTON (AP) — Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 4-0 Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Sonny Milano, Anthony Mantha, Tom Wilson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel all had goals to help the Capitals spoil former coach Peter Laviolette’s return to Washington with his new team and move into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
“Espeically against that team, against our ex-coach, (that win) means a lot,” Aube-Kubel said.
Igor Shesterkin finished with 24 saves as the Rangers were shut out for the first time this season and lost consecutive games for the first time.
“I think it’s something we had early on is kind of that competitiveness and a little bit of the edge, that separation maybe, I think that’s gotten a little complacent,” New York captain Jacob Trouba said. “Maybe let off the gas a little bit, and that’s something we’re going to find out. We can’t win that way, so we’ve got to get back to that fighting attitude, a little bit of anger in our game.”
Laviolette spent three seasons with the Capitals before parting ways with the team in April and joining the Rangers two months later.
“It was not good from the start to the finish, so no sense dissecting it here publicly,” Laviolette said of the loss. “We’ve got a game tomorrow night, and we’ll need to be a lot better.”
Milano, a healthy scratch on Thursday, got the Capitals on the board just 43 seconds into the game, firing a cross-ice feed from Martin Fehervary past Shesterkin.
Washington, which had been struggling to find consistent offense this season, then scored three goals in the second period.
Mantha got to the crease and redirected Evgeny Kuznetsov’s feed to the front past Sheterkin at 1:43 to put the Capitals up 2-0.
Wilson, who has five goals in his last five games, made it 3-0 at 5:35 with his ninth of the season.
Aube-Kubel, who hadn’t scored since Nov. 10, capped the scoring with his second with 8:08 left in the middle period. It gave Washington at least four goals in regulation for the second straight game after totaling nine goals in the previous six games.
“It’s been pretty balanced the whole year. We have all lines with an identity, all lines going out there with a role and getting it done,” Wilson said. “When you have young guys chipping in and then you get that balanced scoring, it definitely helps you put a few together and get a good team win.”
Lindgren, facing his brother Ryan, at the NHL level for the first time, stole the show in net, moving quickly to deny the Rangers a few quality chances. He stopped younger three times en route to his fourth career shutout.
“We’re very competitive but we definitely don’t take for granted the opportunity that was, being able to be on the same NHL ice together, that was obviously really cool,” Charlie Lindgren said, adding, “He’s a competitive kid. He’s a great hockey player, too. It was fun to win tonight.”
Rangers: Host Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Capitals: At Chicago on Sunday night.