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.
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.”
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].”