National Hockey League
Washington 5, NY Rangers 1
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Wes McCauley, Chris Rooney
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Mark Shewchyk
Attendance: 18573

Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the third period to move into sole possession of fifth place on the NHL's all-time goal list Wednesday night, leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 win over the visiting New York Rangers in the season opener for both teams.

T.J. Oshie, Justin Schultz and Hendrix Lapierre (in his NHL debut) also scored for the Capitals. Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves.

The win also produced a milestone for Capitals coach Peter Laviolette. He earned his 674th 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. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev recorded 22 saves.

The Capitals were in control before Ovechkin's goals thanks to a first-period tally by Oshie, who scored off an Ovechkin feed at 4:39, and the goals by Schultz and Lapierre, who struck 24 seconds apart in the second. Washington outshot New York 15-5 in the middle period.

Lapierre, 19, became the first Capitals player to score his first goal as a teenager since Andre Burakovsky scored in his NHL debut on Oct. 9, 2014.

Ovechkin -- drafted first overall by the Capitals in 2004, shortly after Lapierre turned 2 years old -- scored his 731st career goal, moving him into a tie with Marcel Dionne for fifth place all-time, by putting back the rebound of a power-play shot by Anthony Mantha 2:37 into the third.

Ovechkin needed fewer than 10 minutes to collect goal No. 732. Longtime teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov fired the puck from center ice off the boards and to Ovechkin, who surged past K'Andre Miller and backhanded the shot past Georgiev with 7:59 left.

A few minutes later, the Capital One Arena scoreboard aired a pre-taped video of Dionne congratulating Ovechkin and putting on a Capitals hat, which he said he'd wear for a day.

Ovechkin, who signed a five-year contract with the Capitals in July, is nine goals away from tying Brett Hull for fourth place and 162 goals behind the all-time leader, Wayne Gretzky.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
NY Rangers   Washington
Chris Kreider 1 Points Alex Ovechkin 4
Chris Kreider 1 Goals Alex Ovechkin 2
Adam Fox 1 Assists Evgeny Kuznetsov 3
Chris Kreider 1 Power Play Goals Alex Ovechkin 1
N/A Short Handed Goals Alex Ovechkin 1
Alexandar Georgiev .815 Save Percentage Vitek Vanecek .958
Alexandar Georgiev 22 Saves Vitek Vanecek 23
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
NY Rangers 24 1 1-5 3-6 18 31
Washington 27 5 3-6 4-5 16 20
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game at home against Tampa Bay. The Capitals have a W/L % of 1.000 after a win and .000 after a loss.
  • NY Rangers will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Rangers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.