WASHINGTON (AP) — Artem Anisimov scored the decisive goal in a shootout, backup goaltender Martin Biron had 22 saves, and the New York Rangers rallied to defeat the Washington Capitals 2-1 Monday night.
Each team scored twice in the shootout before Anisimov ended the duel by beating rookie goalie Braden Holtby.
Holtby finished with 28 saves. In three games since his recall from Hershey of the American Hockey League last week, the 21-year-old has turned aside 77 of 80 shots.
But Biron was better in the shootout.
The last time the teams met, on Dec. 12 in New York, the Rangers rolled to a 7-0 win. In this one, the Capitals cranked up the defense and took a 1-0 lead in the second period on a goal by Matt Hendricks.
Marian Gaborik tied it for the injury-riddled Rangers with 6:41 left in regulation. Gaborik was in front of the net when Brian Boyle took a shot, and the rebound bounced off Gaborik’s midsection and past Holtby.
In overtime, the Capitals outshot New York 6-1. But Biron made several sensational saves, including one on a blast by Alex Ovechkin.
The focus was on defense during a scoreless first period in which the Rangers outshot Washington 7-5. Each team took only one shot over the first 11 minutes, and that included a power play in which Biron was not required to make a save.
At 1:27 of the second period, Hendricks scored from the left side of the net off a brilliant diagonal pass by Marcus Johansson. It was the seventh goal of the season for Hendricks, his second in two games.
New York scratched defenseman Dan Girardi, who missed his first game of the season with a rib cage injury. The Rangers are trying to keep pace in the Eastern Conference while coping with injuries to several key players, including leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky, who has a stress fracture in his left leg.
NOTES: The Rangers have held Ovechkin without a goal in four straight games. Ovechkin took four of Washington’s 11 shots through the first two periods. … New York’s Brandon Prust played through a foot injury that occurred in Saturday’s game in Atlanta. … Washington fell to 20-0-2 when leading after two periods.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)