A giveway by Karl Alzner led to an unassisted goal by Artem Anisimov for the first score of the period. He used Washington defender Scott Hannan as a screen so that Semyon Varlamov couldn't get a clean view of the shot. Anisimov shot the puck through Hannan's legs and into the net.
Hannan was sent to the penalty box for holding almost immediately afterwards, and the Rangers scored their third and prettiest goal of the night with seven seconds remaining in the power play. A wrist shot from Marc Staal found the stick of Marian Gaborik for a deflection right between Varlamov's legs. The goaltender had no chance.
The same can't be said for New York's next goal though. Brandon Dubinsky shot the puck at the middle of the goal and Varlamov couldn't get low enough fast enough to keep it out of the net. For the second time in under two minutes, the Rangers scored via Varlamov's five-hole.
The Capitals did their best to get back into it later in the period. They've hit the post three times in the first half of the game. After the third post-ringer, Alex Ovechkin took out his frustration on Dan Girardi, butt-checking the New York defenseman unexpectedly. Brandon Dubinsky didn't like that, and dropped gloves to challenge Ovechkin to a fight. The captain obliged and held his own against the larger Dubinsky in an effort to fire up his team.
It didn't work. Even when Washington was on a power play, the Rangers just wouldn't stop scoring. A great pass from Brian Boyle to Marc Staal gave New York a shorthanded goal as Staal deked Varlamov and put it away.