Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad scored in the shootout to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 30 shots he faced through overtime and both Washington attempts in the shootout tiebreaker. The victory, his first shutout of the season and the 18th of his career, helped the Rangers improve to 4-1-1 in their last six games.
Philipp Grubauer had 37 saves for the Capitals, who have lost three straight (0-1-2) since winning 11 of 13.
After neither team could get anything past the backup goalies through 65 minutes, Zuccarello finally put one past Grubauer on the first shootout attempt as he skated in, moved to the right and beat the Washington goalie with a backhand. Pavelec then stopped T.J. Oshie and, after Zibanejad also beat Grubauer from the right side, Pavelec denied Alex Ovechkin to secure the win.
Both teams had good chances in overtime, and each hit a post. Pavelec stopped Oshie on a backhand in front 20 seconds into the extra period, and Grubauer denied J.T. Miller’s wrist shot a minute later. The Rangers went on the power play when Ovechkin was whistled for tripping Miller with 25 seconds left, but they failed to get a shot on goal.
Capitals defenseman John Carlson sent the puck through an empty crease on a wraparound attempt, but it hit the far post and stayed out. Zibanejad hit a post just before the horn.