Capitals' Green ties NHL mark in setback
Mike Green scored twice to tie the NHL record for defencemen with goals in seven straight games, but the slumping New York Rangers overcame that and beat the Washington Capitals 5-4 in a shootout to snap a five-game losing streak.
Ryan Callahan, who had a goal and an assist, netted the shootout winner in the fourth round when the puck hit the crossbar and then found its way in after hitting goalie Jose Theodore's skates.
Nigel Dawes also scored in the shootout for the Rangers, but Alex Ovechkin forced the extra round with a goal.
Despite going 0-for-6 on the power play, including five chances in the scoreless third period, the Rangers shook off two blown leads and rallied to win.
Lauri Korpikoski, Markus Naslund and Paul Mara also had goals for the Rangers, who hadn't scored more than three in their previous six games and had been outscored 22-5 during their skid (0-4-1).
Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves.
Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr scored first-period goals for the Capitals, who also led twice.
Theodore stopped 28 shots.
The game broke wide open in the second period when the teams combined for five goals, finishing the frame in a 4-4 tie.
New York struck first to get even at 2-2 with its first shot of the period at the 8:49 marker.
Marc Staal sent in a drive from the left point that struck Korpikoski. The Rangers rookie found the puck and knocked in his fourth goal.
Green put the Capitals back in front with a hard, rising wrist shot from just inside the top edge of the circle at 10:32.
That tied the record set by Boston's Mike O'Connell, who scored in seven straight games during 1983-84 NHL season.
Ovechkin, the Capitals' leading scorer this season, retrieved the puck for Green and flipped it into the Washington bench for safekeeping.
Naslund needed just 1:07 to bring the Rangers into the third tie of the game, following the puck into the net with a skates-first slide.
Nigel Dawes raced the puck up the right wing and fed a pass into the crease that Naslund steered into Theodore with his stick.
Naslund fell at the same time and pushed himself and the puck into the net, scoring a goal that stood up to video review.
Mara staked the Rangers to their second lead of the night with four minutes left in the period, beating Theodore with a hard slapshot from above the left circle to make it 4-3.
Green struck again with his career-best 21st goal. From the side boards, Green beat Lundqvist with another high drive to get the Capitals even at 4-4 with 57.6 seconds left in the period.
He has two goals in two consecutive games and has posted six straight multipoint efforts.
The Rangers came out with their fists flying and they looked to send a message after losing a season-high five straight games.
Colton Orr took on Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear, considered the toughest fighter in the NHL, right off a faceoff just 2:43 into the game.
Three seconds after the ensuing draw, New York's Aaron Voros dropped the gloves with Matt Bradley in a bout that had players on both benches smacking their sticks against the boards and ice.
Callahan gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 7:33 in, when he took a perfect cross-ice feed from Korpikoski near the right post and easily steered the puck in for his 13th goal.
Fleischmann tied it 1-1 at 10:51 and then earned the primary assist on Fehr's goal with 1:52 remaining in the first period, which gave the Capitals their first lead of the game.