Alex Ovechkin found a way to score, tying the game late in regulation during an intense poke-at-the-puck scramble. Then Alexander Semin broke his 14-game playoff drought 18:24 into overtime to give the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals, a win over the eighth-seeded New York Rangers in Game 1 of their first-round series on Wednesday night in Washington.
The winning goal came when Jason Arnott intercepted a clearing pass from Marc Staal, then found Semin between the circles for a one-timer past Henrik Lundqvist.
Vancouver 2, Chicago 0: At Vancouver, British Columbia, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen scored in the first period, Roberto Luongo made 32 saves, and the Canucks beat the Blackhawks in a first-round playoff opener.
Corey Crawford made 31 saves in his first playoff start as Chicago opened its defense of the Stanley Cup with a loss.
Anaheim 4, Nashville 1: At Anaheim, Calif., Mike Fisher had two goals and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves, and the Predators clamped down on the high-flying Ducks in a victory in their first-round playoff series opener.
The Predators got off to a great grinding start as they attempt to win a playoff series for the first time in six tries over seven seasons.
Pittsburgh 3, Tampa Bay 0: At Pittsburgh, Alex Kovalev and Arron Asham scored third-period goals 18 seconds apart and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots to lead the Penguins to a victory over the Lightning in the first-round playoff opener.
Chris Kunitz sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute in the Penguins’ first postseason game in their new arena.
Detroit 4, Phoenix 2: At Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen scored midway through the second period to put the Red Wings ahead, and they went on to beat the Coyotes in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
Jimmy Howard made 26 saves for the third-seeded Red Wings.