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Capitals beat Talbot, Rangers 3-2

  • Article by: HARVEY VALENTINE
  • Associated Press
  • December 27, 2013 - 9:15 PM

WASHINGTON — Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist, and Eric Fehr scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:09 left to lift the Washington Capitals over the New York Rangers 3-2 Friday night.

Moments after New York defenseman Dan Girardi's drive hit the post, Fehr took a pass from Backstrom during a 4-on-4 play, skated in, and beat goalie Cam Talbot from the right circle for his sixth goal.

Mike Green added a goal, and Philipp Grubauer had 37 saves for Washington, which had dropped two straight before taking the finale of a three-game homestand.

Benoit Pouliot and Carl Hagelin scored for New York, which had won two straight. It was the Rangers' first game after a nine-game homestand.

Talbot, making his third straight start in place of No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist, stopped 31 shots in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Hagelin tied the game with a short-handed goal 17 seconds into the third period. He took a feed from Ryan McDonagh, skated in alone on Grubauer, and beat scored with a backhanded shot.

Talbot came in with an 8-2 record and a 1.60 goals against average in 12 games. He won the final two games of the homestand.

Lundqvist, a three-time All-Star, signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension on Dec. 4 to become the highest paid NHL goalie.

Since then, he is 2-4-2 with a 3.41 goals-against average in eight games. Lundqvist lost his most recent appearance 5-3 to the New York Islanders last Friday, giving up four goals on 19 shots.

The Rangers outshot Washington 14-7 in the opening period and had two power plays to one for the Capitals, but trailed 1-0.

With Rick Nash off for tripping, Martin Erat sent a pass to Green at the point for a one-timed shot that got past Talbot on the glove side at 6:55 for his third goal.

The Rangers tied it on a power play when Pouliot deflected Brad Richards' shot from the point past Grubauer at 1:37 of the second period. It was Pouliot's sixth goal of the season and third in four games.

The Capitals appeared to retake the lead midway through the second, but a replay review showed that Eric Fehr's shot bounced off the post, went behind Talbot, but didn't cross the goal line.

After a flurry of saves by Grubauer late in the period, the Capitals went ahead 2-1 when Steve Olesky pushed a loose puck ahead to Backstrom. Talbot could only get a piece of the shot from the right circle that produced Backstrom's 10th goal with 1:05 left in the period.

NOTES: Alex Ovechkin failed to score a goal for the ninth straight game against the Rangers, including the playoffs. . Capitals C Brooks Laich (groin pain), who returned Monday after missing 11 games, was out of the lineup. . RW Erat has 14 assists in 35 games, but hasn't scored a goal. . Rangers D Anton Stralman left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and didn't return.

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