|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 06 October 2007 19:10|
The Capitals improved to 2-0-0 for the first time since 2002 - the last time they reached the postseason.
Washington controlled the action for long stretches against Carolina (1-1-1). That included a 14-2 edge in shots in the first period and a 33-23 advantage overall.
Capitals goalie Olie Kolzig was brilliant in earning the shutout in his first game of the season.
Center Viktor Kozlov set up Ovechkin's goal 14:24 into the game, drawing three Hurricanes toward him before sliding a no-look pass over to the 2005-06 NHL rookie of the year.
Ovechkin one-timed a shot past goalie John Grahame, lifting the Russian's totals to 99 goals and 101 assists in 165 career games. No Capitals player had arrived at the 200-point plateau so quickly; among all active NHL players, only Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby got there in fewer games (142).
The Capitals' other goal came in the second period, on defenseman Milan Jurcina's slap shot from the point on a power play.
Senators 2, Rangers 0
OTTAWA (AP) - Martin Gerber stopped 35 shots for his eighth career shutout and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist for the Senators.
Gerber, who got his first shutout since Feb. 14, has led Ottawa to three straight wins to begin the season while starting goalie Ray Emery recovers from offseason wrist surgery.
Alfredsson scored for the third straight game 5:40 in when he beat Henrik Lundqvist to put Ottawa up 2-0.
Alfredsson had an assist 53 seconds earlier when Andrej Meszaros opened the scoring with a short-handed goal.
Rangers left wing Sean Avery left with a shoulder injury resulting from a hit by Senators right wing Chris Neil 7:23 in. Avery went directly to the dressing room and did not return.
Devils 4, Panthers 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - John Madden scored twice for New Jersey, giving Brent Sutter his first NHL coaching victory.
Andy Greene and Mike Mottau also scored for the Devils, who opened the season with a 3-1 loss at Tampa Bay the previous night.
Kevin Weekes started in goal for the Devils and stopped 32 shots.
Cory Murphy scored a power-play goal for Florida, which had won its last three home openers. Tomas Vokoun, acquired from Nashville in the offseason, made 21 saves.
The Devils are opening the season with nine consecutive road games while construction wraps up on their new arena in Newark. New Jersey is back at Florida on Thursday.
Islanders 3, Sabres 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Mike Comrie scored two goals for the second straight night and New York completed a sweep of the season-opening, home-and-home series against Buffalo.
Paying quick dividends since signing with the Islanders this summer, Comrie scored 1:39 into the third period to snap a 1-1 tie and give New York its first 2-0 start since 2001.
His backhander past Ryan Miller was set up by captain Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko, also free-agent additions. The trio clicked again at 8:29 to make it 3-1 as Comrie took Fedotenko's pass from behind the net and flipped a shot in from the slot.
Chris Campoli scored for the second straight night, and the Islanders got 30 saves from Rick DiPietro.
Jaroslav Spacek and Jochen Hecht scored for Buffalo.
Lightning 5, Thrashers 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Vinny Prospal and Brad Richards had two goals each to lead Tampa Bay past Atlanta.
Prospal scored his second of goal of the game, and third this season, when he redirected Martin St. Louis' shot to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead during a power play with 5:22 left in the second period. Richards scored a short-handed goal later in the second and added a power-play goal in the third.
Vincent Lecavalier also scored for Tampa Bay, which has opened the season 2-0 for just the third team in team history. Johan Holmqvist made 13 saves.
The defending Southeast Division champion Thrashers got goals from Marian Hossa and Slava Kozlov, while Johan Hedberg stopped 29 shots. Atlanta has started the season by losing two straight, getting outscored 8-3.
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 3, OT
TORONTO (AP) - Tomas Kaberle scored 3:26 into overtime and Toronto rallied to beat Montreal.
Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and Ian White also scored for the Maple Leafs. Veteran center Mats Sundin added three assists.
Mathieu Dandenault, Andrei Markov and Andrei Kostitsyn scored for the Canadiens.
After starting the season with consecutive losses to Ottawa, the Maple Leafs trailed Montreal all night before coach Paul Maurice juggled his lines.
Ponikarovsky was put on Sundin's wing late in the second period and quickly scored two goals to tie the game at 3-3. That set up overtime, where Kaberle one-timed a pass from Sundin and squeezed a shot through Christobal Huet's arm.
Penguins 5, Ducks 4
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Petr Sykora scored twice and had an assist in his Pittsburgh home debut and the Penguins twice scored goals only seconds apart in a victory over road-weary Stanley Cup champion Anaheim.
Sykora, a longtime Penguins antagonist while with New Jersey, put Pittsburgh up 4-3 by putting in a rebound of Georges Laraque's shot in front at 13:32 of third. After the ensuing faceoff, Sidney Crosby beat defenseman Chris Pronger to the puck and found Ryan Malone in the slot for Pittsburgh's second goal in 19 seconds.
The Penguins scored only 20 seconds apart in the second period as Colby Armstrong and Evgeni Malkin each beat goalie Jonas Hiller to make it 3-2. Chris Kunitz had two goals for Anaheim, and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry also scored.
Predators 5, Stars 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - David Legwand had the second three-goal game of his career to help the Nashville open the season 2-0.
Legwand scored at the 6:37 mark of the first period to open the scoring. He added goals in the second and third periods.
J.P Dumont gave Nashville a 2-0 lead at 5:22 of the second period on the power play.
Nashville goaltender Chris Mason missed his bid for a second consecutive shutout at 13:14 of the third period, when Krys Barch skated in all alone on a breakaway and blasted a shot that went between Mason's right pad and arm.
Martin Gelinas scored an empty-net goal for Nashville at 18:46.
Wild 3, Blue Jackets 2
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Eric Belanger and Brent Burns scored in the third period to rally Minnesota, which improved to 2-0 after two home games.
Brian Rolston had three assists and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored for Minnesota.
Defensemen Ron Hainsey and Adam Foote had the Blue Jackets' goals.
However, defensive lapses led to two of Minnesota's goals, when Bouchard and Belanger got behind the defense for unobstructed trips to the Columbus net.
Backstrom finished with 19 saves for Minnesota. Rolston, who led the Wild with 31 goals last season, tied a career high with three assists.
Oilers 5, Flyers 3
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Geoff Sanderson scored two goals and Joni Pitkanen added one to lead Edmonton over Philadelphia.
Dustin Penner and Steve Staios also scored for Edmonton, which has opened the season with two wins.
Jeff Carter, Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne had Philadelphia's goals.
The Oilers had the bulk of the good chances in the scoreless first period, peppering Flyers goalie Martin Biron with 16 shots while Philadelphia was only able to get four shots on Edmonton's Mathieu Garon.
Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 3, SO
CHICAGO (AP) - Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout, lifting Chicago over Detroit.
Kane, the first overall pick in this year's NHL draft, beat Dominik Hasek with a backhand shot on the glove side. Kane got his first career point with an assist in regulation.
Robert Lang, signed as a free agent during the offseason, scored his first goal for Chicago with 3:40 left in the third to tie the game and set up overtime. Lang beat Hasek with a high shot from the right circle.
Tuomo Ruutu and James Wisniewski also scored in regulation for the Blackhawks.
Detroit defensemen Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom each had a goal and an assist. Tomas Holmstrom also scored for the Red Wings, 18-1-4 in their last 23 games against Chicago.