Rangers edge Caps

Washington's Troy Brouwer (20) can't find any room in front the the New York Rangers net as Ryan Callahan, left, goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Matt Gilroy defend during the Rangers' 3-2 win Sunday.
Washington's Troy Brouwer (20) can't find any room in front the the New York Rangers net as Ryan Callahan, left, goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Matt Gilroy defend during the Rangers' 3-2 win Sunday. Kathy Willens/AP Hhoto

New York - Rick Nash's availability for a key matchup with the Washington Capitals wasn't confirmed until the New York Rangers star got through the pregame warmup unscathed.

While no one was willing to talk about what is ailing the top forward, whatever it is didn't seem to slow him down Sunday night.

Nash assisted on surging linemate Carl Hagelin's tying goal in the second period and registered a game-high eight shots on goalie Braden Holtby in New York's come-from-behind 2-1 victory.

Nash has been limited to three goals and nine assists in his first 14 games with the Rangers, following a blockbuster offseason trade. But his mere presence is opening up lots of space for those on the ice with him.

"They're not going in, but I'm getting the chances," Nash said. "A couple of posts and point-blanks. I thought they were going in for sure. The exciting thing is Carl is putting them in."

The Rangers (8-5-1) tied it when Hagelin scored at 7:39 of the second. Ryan McDonagh fired a drive from the middle of the ice, just inside the blue line, that was tipped into the net on New York's 30th shot.

Hagelin has scored five of his six goals in the past four games - netting at least one in each. That led coach John Tortorella to call him "probably our best forward" recently.

"He is one of the few guys who can beat his guy one-on-one most of the time," Hagelin said of Nash. "That's why you can hide a bit on the ice and try to disappear. When he makes that move, the D who is supposed to be on me goes over to him, and I am wide open.

"When you feel good, you continue playing well, and goals are going to come."

One on the power play finally did for New York when Derek Stepan scored the winner early in the third period.

It was the only time the Rangers' power-play unit connected in five chances, but it came at the right moment and helped snap the Capitals' season-high winning streak at three.

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