Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the third period to move to fifth on the NHL’s all-time goal list Wednesday night, leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 victory over the New York. Visiting Rangers at the season opener for both teams. .
TJ Oshie, Justin Schultz and Hendrix Lapierre (making his NHL debut) also scored for the Capitals. Washington goalkeeper Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves.
The victory was also a milestone for Capitals coach Peter Laviolette. He earned his 674 win behind the bench, breaking the mark he shared with John Tortorella for the most wins by an American-born coach.
Chris Kreider scored in the third period for the Rangers. Goalkeeper Alexandar Georgiev recorded 22 saves.
The Capitals were in control before Ovechkin’s goals thanks to an Oshie goal in the first period, which he scored with an Ovechkin pass at 4:39, and goals from Schultz and Lapierre, who scored 24 seconds apart. In a second. Washington outshot New York 15-5 in the intermission.
Lapierre, 19, became the first Capitals player to score his first goal as a teenager since Andre Burakovsky scored in his NHL debut on October 9, 2014.
Ovechkin, selected first overall by the Capitals in 2004, shortly after Lapierre turned 2, scored his 731st goal of his career, tying him with Marcel Dionne for fifth place all-time, at rebound from a power play. Anthony Mantha shot 2:37 in the third.
It took Ovechkin less than 10 minutes to score goal No. 732. His teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov fired the puck from the center of the ice towards Ovechkin, who edged past K’Andre Miller and backhanded Georgiev with 7:59 left. play.
A few minutes later, the Capital One Arena scoreboard broadcast a pre-recorded video of Dionne congratulating Ovechkin and donning a Capitals hat, which she said she would wear for a day.
Ovechkin, who signed a five-year contract with the Capitals in July, is nine goals behind tying Brett Hull for fourth and 162 goals behind all-time leader Wayne Gretzky.