WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored two power-play goals and Matt Niskanen had the winner as the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday night.
Ovechkin has six goals in six games to start the season after scoring 49 last year. His 24 career goals against Henrik Lundqvist are the most against any goaltender in the NHL.
Niskanen beat Lundqvist 2:18 into overtime, putting the puck into an empty net as Lundqvist lunged to try to stop the shot. John Carlson had Washington’s other goal.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced in arguably his best game of this season. One of his biggest saves came with time running out in the second period when he denied Kevin Hayes on a short-handed breakaway, and Ovechkin tied up Neal Pionk’s stick to prevent a rebound goal.
Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider scored for New York, which was playing the second half of a back-to-back after beating Colorado in a shootout Tuesday. Lundqvist made 34 saves in his second game in as many nights, helping the Rangers pick up a point.
Pionk had three assists, a positive sign for the Rangers’ youth movement and another signal of coach David Quinn pushing the right buttons. Quinn scratched Pionk earlier in the season and has gotten similar results from other players after taking them out of the lineup.
Washington got two points thanks to a big night from Ovechkin. The Russian star showed off his hand-eye coordination on his first goal, corralling a bouncing pass from Carlson and beating an unsuspecting Lundqvist.
NOTES: Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom had two assists to get to 598 for his career. … F Pavel Buchnevich returned to the Rangers’ lineup, replacing Cody McLeod. … F Nathan Walker was back in for the Capitals for the first time since Oct. 4. Dmitrij Jaskin was a healthy scratch to clear a spot for Walker … Quinn returned to the arena he won the NCAA title in as an assistant with Boston University in 2009.
Rangers: Return home to face the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
Capitals: Host the Florida Panthers on Friday.
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