Lafrenière gets 2nd of season, Rangers beat Capitals 4-1

NHL
Rangers Capitals Hockey

New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) scores a goal past Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Washington. Also seen are Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) and Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON — Alexis Lafrenière scored his second NHL goal, Artemi Panarin had two assists and the New York Rangers made the best of a new-look lineup, beating the Washington Capitals 4-1 Saturday for their second consecutive victory.

Lafrenière, the top pick in the 2020 draft, cashed in on his promotion to New York’s top line by scoring for the first time in eight games. Panarin set up Lafrenière on the doorstep late in the second period, and his shot provided the rebound for Chris Kreider’s power-play goal in the first.

With a goal and an assist, Ryan Strome made history as the first player to record 100 points apiece with the Rangers and Islanders. Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves, Mika Zibanejad sealed it with an empty-netter with 2:12 left and New York strung together back-to-back wins for just the second time this season.

The Capitals struggled to match the Rangers’ energy early in a game moved up to an afternoon start, falling behind 3-0 before Dmitry Orlov scored his first goal of the season with 38.2 seconds left in the second period. Vitek Vanecek allowed three goals on 24 shots in his 13th consecutive start, and Washington’s winning streak was snapped at two.

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