WASHINGTON — Mika Zibanejad scored the go-ahead goal with 2:32 left, Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves and the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 Saturday night to snap the NHL's longest winning streak at seven.
New York has won three of four against East Division-leading Washington this season. The Rangers led for much of the game Friday night before losing on two late goals by Alex Ovechkin.
It looked like a similar recipe Friday after Pavel Buchnevich gave the Rangers a lead late in the first period with his 11th goal of the season off a perfect pass from defenceman Adam Fox. John Carlson tied it on a rebound with 14:05 left, and the Capitals threatened on an ensuring power play.
But Kinkaid kept the Rangers in the game, and Zibanejad won it almost singlehandedly. He hounded Capitals defenceman Brenden Dillon in the offensive zone, stole the puck and roofed a shot past Ilya Samsonov.
The Rangers bench erupted before Zibanejad got there to celebrate his unassisted goal and seventh of the season after a rough start. Brett Howden sealed it with an empty-netter with 28 seconds left.
Kinkaid, the Rangers’ third goaltender, picked up his second victory of the season a week after shutting out the Boston Bruins. He and Alexandar Georgiev remain the rotation with Igor Shesterkin still out with a groin strain.
Samsonov allowed two goals on 24 shots. Washington lost for the first since March 5 at Boston.
Ovechkin went down the tunnel followed by a trainer midway through the second period and skated around a few times during stoppages like he was trying to loosen something up. The Capitals captain returned to action and appeared to be rolling something on the back of his right leg while sitting on the bench between shifts.
STILL SUB COACHES
Kris Knoblauch served as acting Rangers coach for a third consecutive game with David Quinn and his staff in NHL COVID protocol. It's unclear how long the coach of New York's American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford will remain in the job.
ELLER STILL OUT
Washington got winger Tom Wilson back after serving his five-game suspension but was still without third-line centre Lars Eller because of a lower-body injury. Eller missed his fourth consecutive game.
Without Eller, T.J. Oshie shifted back to centre , a position he played earlier this season when the Capitals were missing Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
JOHNSON DONE FOR SEASON
Rangers defenceman Jack Johnson underwent core muscle repair surgery and will be out for the rest of the season. Johnson hadn't played since March 9 and was limited to one goal — that game — in 13 with the Rangers this season after being bought out by Pittsburgh.
Rangers: Return home to face the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
Capitals: Get a few days to rest up before hosting the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night in the first half of a back-to-back set.
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press