MANHATTAN — T.J. Oshie had a hat trick, Vitek Vanecek made 19 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the depleted New York Rangers 4-2 in a fight-filled game Wednesday night.
Oshie, whose father died this week, completed his hat trick with an empty net goal at 18:20 of the third. The Capitals moved into a first-place tie with idle Pittsburgh in the East Division.
Washington has three games left while the Penguins have two.
The dismal loss — the Rangers’ fourth straight — came in their home finale and on the same day the organization stunningly fired President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton.
The team said former Ranger Chris Drury would take over both jobs.
“We want to thank JD and Jeff for their contributions to the organization. They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers, however, in order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership,” said James L. Dolan, executive chairman, MSG Sports. “Chris is a very sought-after executive and a strong leader, who has proven himself to be one of the top young minds in hockey. We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans.”
The firing comes just a day after the team put out a statement calling for the league to fire its head of player safety over the NHL not suspending Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson over a violent attack on Ranger forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin.
“The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden,” the statement read. Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these type of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their department of player safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely. Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season.”
The team went on to call head of player safety George Parros’ “unfit to continue in his current role” after a “dereliction of duty.”
Davidson was named team president in May of 2019. Gorton has served as a scout for New York since 2007 and replaced Sather as the team’s GM in 2015.
Drury played four seasons with the Rangers after signing with the team as a free agent on July 1, 2007.