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Capitals vs. Rangers Recap: Rookies and Regulars Rock Retooled Rangers Roster

Hendrix Lapierre scores in his NHL debut as the Capitals cruise to a 5 to 1 win.

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

In Washington’s return to “normal hockey” they entertained everyone but the New York Rangers in a decisive 5 to 1 victory on home ice.

Here’s Wednesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin skated in his 17th consecutive opening night for the Capitals and, as always, impressed.

Minus: Zero nationally televised close ups of Chris Drury.

Eleven more notes on the game:

  1. After successfully killing an early minor penalty the Capitals struck on their first power play. Puck movement from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ovechkin afforded T.J. Oshie a tap-in from atop the crease.
  2. Four minutes later Nick Jensen wired home a Lars Eller pass to temporarily put Washington ahead by two. Unfortunately Daniel Sprong’s right skate was offside at the line, taking a great tally off of the scoreboard.
  3. Vitek Vanecek was the best player through twenty minutes, turning aside nine New York shots. Specifically, stellar saves against Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko kept the visitors scoreless and frustrated.
  4. A little more than midway through the contest Justin Schultz put a power play puck on net that found its way past Alexandar Georgiev after deflecting off of Mika Zibanejad’s stick shaft.
  5. 24 seconds later Hendrix Lapierre extended Washington’s lead to three with his first career NHL goal. A soft touch from Oshie in the slot gave Lapierre a chance to shoot his shot and the youngster did not miss the opportunity.
  6. Lapierre is the first Capitals rookie since Andre Burakovsky to score his first goal while still a teenager (h/t Gulitti). 120 more teenaged days to go.
  7. After being outshot 9 to 6 in the first frame Washington roared back to life in the second with 15 of their own (to New York’s 5).
  8. Not to be left out Ovechkin tracked and stashed an Anthony Mantha reblock for his first of the season. The goal is Ovechkin’s 731st, tying him with Marcel Dionne for fifth (!!) all time. But only for a few minutes...
  9. Chris Kreider got the Rangers a goal with ten minutes to play, chipping a pass up and over Vanecek’s shoulder from five feet out to spoil the shutout.
  10. But Ovechkin closed the show with a backhanded goal to say bye to Dionne just 48 seconds after Kreider’s tally. The goal was shorthanded.
  11. With three assists tonight Kuznetsov recorded his 100th career multi-point NHL game.