Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers set single-season franchise records for wins and points in a season after beating the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Saturday.
Goals by Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast and 22 saves by Henrik Lundqvist helped the NHL-best Rangers (53-22-7) finish the season with 113 points.
That broke the old record of 112 set by the 1993-94 team, which also ended with 53 wins on the way to a Stanley Cup title.
The Rangers and Capitals are headed to the Eastern Conference playoffs, with top-seeded New York taking on Pittsburgh in the quarterfinal round after the Penguins defeated Buffalo Saturday night.
Despite the loss, the Capitals (45-26-11) will still have home-ice advantage for their opening-round series with the New York Islanders after the latter lost in a shootout to Columbus on Saturday.
"Our guys wanted to play the right way," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. "We knew that Washington was still playing for home-ice advantage, so they were going to come out hard and play well. It was a hard game, but we were able to get it done."
Alex Ovechkin and Stanislav Galiev scored for the Capitals, who suffered their only regulation loss in their last seven games. Braden Holtby gave up three goals on 33 shots.
Ovechkin finished with 53 goals, leading the league for a third consecutive year, but the Capitals trailed from the first period on.
"We came out a little bit flat in the first and they capitalized," said Caps coach Barry Trotz. "They didn't get a lot of chances, but they capitalized. We had some decent looks, and we didn't capitalize. At the end of the day we were chasing the game."
Hayes scored his 17th goal as a rookie when he slapped an airborne puck past Holtby with a backhand to give New York the lead 12:36 into the game.
Brassard set a career-high with his 19th goal, firing a slap shot from the point through traffic on a power play with 4:10 left in the first period.
Moore gave the Rangers a brief 3-0 lead when he snapped a backhand past Holtby from the low right side 2:30 into the second period, but Ovechkin scored 4:01 later on a power play when he buried a slap shot from the left circle.
Fast scored into an empty net with 1:54 remaining to make it 4-1.
Galiev scored his first NHL goal in his second game, knocking a rebound off the end boards that he collected near the side of the net and whacked into the net with 28.7 seconds remaining.
New York sat Rick Nash and Marc Staal for the second consecutive game with minor injuries, but Mats Zuccarello returned to play 16 minutes ... The Rangers won three of the four games between the teams this season ... It was Ovechkin's highest goal total since he scored 56 in 2008-09 ... Moore got his 10th goal of the season and Fast netted his sixth.