Rangers Squander Early Lead, Lose Big to Capitals, 7-3

After the Rangers held a 3-1 lead on division rival Washington at the end of one period Sunday, Rangers fans could be excused for feeling good, a rare feeling in recent weeks.

But they had no idea what the next 40 minutes would bring.

The Capitals scored four goals in the 2nd period and added two more in the 3rd period to rout the Rangers, 7-3, Sunday night at The Garden. In Washington’s last 14 games, they are 12-1-1, while the slumping Rangers, in their last 14 games, are 3-9-2.

Justin Williams had two goals and an assist for Washington. Marcus Johansson had a goal and two assists, and Nicklas Backstrom had three assists. Alexander Ovechkin scored his his 17th of the season, a power play goal, in the 2nd period. Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, and Jason Chimera had the other Washington goals.

The Rangers got goals from J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider, and Dan Boyle [Boyle’s 4th in the last seven games], all in the 1st period, as the Blueshirts took a 3-1 lead after one period.

Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after giving up five goals in the first two periods. Magnus Hellberg played the 3rd period, giving up two goals.

The Rangers [now 19-12-4, 42 pts] host former Ranger Carl Hagelin and the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night at The Garden.