The Washington Capitals appeared to be running on empty as they sputtered toward the end of their season-high six-game road trip.
With under 24 hours to refuel after a grueling 12-day trek, the Capitals look to put it in gear on Sunday afternoon when they bid for their fifth straight victory versus the visiting New York Rangers.
The Capitals boasted a 6-2-1 mark in their previous nine contests and had won three of five games on the road trip before dropping a 5-2 decision to Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.
"Looking at it, we knew it was going to be a tough trip for us. That trip kind of sums up our game overall for the last little while -- it is the inconsistency," Washington coach Todd Reirden said. "We had a couple games on this trip and we have everyone all in and really solid team efforts, (but Saturday) I didn't feel that was the case."
Captain Alex Ovechkin converted a partial breakaway in the second period for his NHL-best 44th goal of the season and sixth during his five-game goal streak. The three-time Hart Trophy recipient, who has 51 points (33 goals, 18 assists) in 54 career encounters versus New York, capped a two-goal performance by scoring in overtime of a 4-3 victory versus the Rangers on Oct. 17 and also tallied in a 5-3 win on Nov. 24.
Defenseman Nick Jensen is slated to make his debut with Washington on Sunday. The 28-year-old was acquired by the Capitals along with a fifth-round pick from the 2019 NHL Draft from Detroit on Friday in exchange for fellow blue-liner Madison Bowey and a second-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. >> Read more
Copyright 2019 by the Associated Press