The Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers have so far made good on the prospect of a successful Stanley Cup Playoffs run. On Sunday afternoon they downed the Washington Capitals 4-1 in Game 1 to take the initiative in their best-of-seven first round series 1-0.

Rangers Take Game 1 of Series Versus Capitals

If one were to be generous, an inkling of doubt may have percolated in the minds of Rangers’ fans enjoying the action at Madison Square Garden after the opening period, with the score tied 0-0. The hosts had also failed to capitalize on the power play, somewhat disconcerting given the club’s third-best power play efficiency during the regular season (26.4%).

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Hub

However, the Rangers played commanding hockey in the middle frame, scoring three times. Their first two markers were only 33 seconds apart, as both Matt Rempe and Artemi Panarin got the offensive machine going. Jimmy Vesey made it a 3-0 match less than two minutes after that, putting the underdog Capitals in an unenviable position. 

To Washington’s credit, Martin Fehervary closed the gap to 3-1 before the teams retired for the second intermission, but that was as close as they’d get. Chris Kreider, specialist in scoring goals that kill other teams’ momentum, netted in the third period, thus the 4-1 final. Goalie Igor Shesterkin didn’t have his busiest day of the year, but came up big when necessary, shielding New York’s net from 20 of 21 shots he faced. 

Game 2 of the series is Tuesday evening in New York.


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