By Ben Sullivan
Alex Ovechkin scored two power-play goals as the Washington Capitals scored a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena.
Matt Niskanen beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist on the rebound of an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot for his first goal of the season to win it at 2:18 of OT.
John Carlson had a goal and two assists, Nicklas Backstrom had two assists, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for Washington (3-2-1), which won for the first time in three games.
Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist, and Neal Pionk had three assists for the Rangers (2-4-1), who were coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Lundqvist made 34 saves.
Kreider tipped a Pionk shot on the power play to tie the game 3-3 at 10:25 of the third period.
New York did not have a shot on goal after Kreider scored.
“They’re defending Stanley Cup champions for a reason,” Pionk said. “We played well, but I think there’s little areas of our game we can clean up and come out with a win. Three out of four points (in the back-to-back) is pretty good against pretty good teams, but pretty good just doesn’t cut it in this league.”
Zibanejad gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 6:09 of the first period when he jammed in the rebound of a Kreider shot.
Carlson tied it 1-1 at 14:05. His low shot from the above the right face-off circle came directly off a Backstrom face-off win and beat Lundqvist glove side.
Ovechkin put Washington ahead 2-1 at 3:32 of the second period. Carlson reached to keep a puck in the New York zone, and Ovechkin one-timed a bouncing puck past Lundqvist from the left circle.
“I didn’t expect him to shoot at all. He hit it hard, so when I realized he shot it, it was just hard to recover,” Lundqvist said. “But I should know with that guy he can shoot from anywhere. It didn’t look like he was going to shoot it. He received a pass, and then — boom! — he shot it, and before you know it, it’s coming at you, and I wasn’t able to recover. I learned my lesson there. I’ve played so many times against him I should know to be ready at all times.”
The Rangers tied it 2-2 on a power-play goal by Jimmy Vesey at 12:42. He was alone in front after a point shot by Pionk deflected to him off Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.
Ovechkin scored his second of the night at 17:01 with another one-timer off a Carlson pass to make it 3-2.
It was Ovechkin’s 232nd NHL power-play goal, tying Dino Ciccarelli for ninth all time. His 122 multigoal games in the NHL are tied with Mark Messier for 13th all time.
The Capitals were 2-for-4 on the power play and are 9-for-23 (39.1 percent) this season.
“Today, we had really good looks. Everyone knows [Lundqvist] is one of the top goalies in the League. He’s going to save it,” Ovechkin said. “But nobody knows who’s going to take a shot when we play like that. And it’s fun to play like that, to be honest with you. When [Backstrom] and when [Kuznetsov] feeling the puck well, they can find you in the right time and the right place. Same with [Carlson].”
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