Washington DC-The Washington Capitals offense continues to flounder and on a night when their defense failed to produce a strong outing, it showed just how vulnerable they can be.
Erik Christensen posted a four point night and Henrik Lundqvist recorded a 35-save shutout to propel the New York Rangers to a 6-0 victory, marking the second time they have blanked the Caps this season.
By the time Vinny Prospal netted the Rangers' fifth goal at 6:16 of the third period, the arena was already emptying out. Washington has lost three straight games at home and two of them have been shutouts.
Tonight was particularly bad as the power play's struggles only worsened and the penalty kill failed them in the second period, leading to disastrous results.
"Everybody feels embarrassed. We didn't score," said Alex Ovechkin. "We'll have to forget about [the game] and get ready for tomorrow's game [at the New York Islanders]."
Washington had better put this one behind them because it was one of the more disappointing losses in recent memory.
Former Capital Steve Eminger kicked off the scoring with a shot from the point that was deflected in past Neuvirth. The Capitals' counterpunch was unsuccessful as Ovechkin's wide open shot from the slot ricocheted off of Lundqvist's mask.
Shortly after, Christensen tallied his first goal on an easy tip-in from Michael Sauer and the Rangers never looked back.
"I'm not happy. Our fans deserve better," said Bruce Boureau in his postgame press conference. "We deserve to get booed. It's not fun when you come home and you've got the best fans in the world and you play like that. It's just not acceptable and it's embarrassing."
The Capitals entered the game ranked fifth on the penalty kill, but surrendered a pair of power play markers as the Rangers had their way in every facet of the contest. Michal Neuvirth's efforts in net were commendable, but the defense in front of him lacked energy, making it easy for the Rangers to grind their way to an insurmountable lead.
Christensen scored again with a power play goal just 4:19 into the second period. Then Derek Stepan converted another power play as he corralled a puck off the end boards and snuck it by Neuvirth to make it 4-0.
Lundqvist took it from there with his eighth shutout of the season, sending the Caps stumbling to New York for tomorrow night's matchup against the Islanders.
Notes: Caps defenseman Mike Green took an elbow to the head from Stepan in the first period and will miss tomorrow's game.