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Ovechkin, Caps get jump on Rangers

Alex Ovechkin, left, celebrates his goal with Caps teammates Mike Ribeiro and Nicklas Backstrom. (Associated Press)
Alex Ovechkin, left, celebrates his goal with Caps teammates Mike Ribeiro and Nicklas Backstrom. (Associated Press)

Alex Ovechkin’s franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got the Capitals started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, and Washington beat the visiting New York Rangers 3-1 Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round series.

Ovechkin, a two-time MVP who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second period to tie the game for the Capitals.

Carl Hagelin had put New York ahead 1-0 in the first period – the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Washington.

Senators 4, Canadiens 2: Craig Anderson made 48 saves in a spectacular goaltending performance as visiting Ottawa beat Montreal in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot scored early in the third period and gave the Senators a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 2 set for tonight at the Bell Centre.

Montreal center Lars Eller was wheeled off on a stretcher bleeding heavily from the nose and was taken to a hospital with what the team said were a concussion plus dental and facial fractures after he was caught with a shoulder to the face on an open-ice hit from the Senators’ Eric Gryba.

Red Wings 5, Ducks 4 (OT): Gustav Nyquist’s power-play goal at 1:21 of overtime after Detroit blew a three-goal lead in the third period gave the Red Wings a victory over host Anaheim to even their playoff series.

Johan Franzen scored two goals and Damien Brunner had his first Stanley Cup playoff goal and two assists for the Red Wings.

Bobby Ryan scored the tying goal with 2:22 left in regulation for the Ducks, who also got goals from captain Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Palmieri while erasing Detroit’s 4-1 lead with a phenomenal surge in the final minutes.

Game 3 is Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Blues 2, Kings 1: Defenseman Barret Jackman scored his first career playoff goal with 50.4 seconds remaining, lifting St. Louis to a win over defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.

Jackman, who totaled three goals and 12 points in the regular season, joined a rush and scored in transition against Jonathan Quick for a 2-0 series lead heading to Los Angeles.

Tags: hockey, NHL