Alex Ovechkin moved a few steps nearer to Wayne Gretzky’s targets document, Hendrix Lapierre scored the primary of his NHL profession and the Washington Capitals made their season opener an awesome one for scoring as an alternative of preventing.
The fisticuffs by no means materialized in opposition to the division-rival New York Rangers, and the Capitals made their 5-1 victory Wednesday night time memorable for Ovechkin passing Marcel Dionne for fifth on the profession targets listing and Lapierre scoring in his debut with Gretzky offering the soundtrack.
Ovechkin after scoring his 731st and 732nd targets returned to the chorus of “game by game, day by day” in pursuit of Gretzky’s mark was extra enthused about Lapierre getting No. 1 at age 19.
“I told him before, ‘Just shoot the puck,'” Ovechkin stated. “He’s a talented kid, fun to watch and obviously I hope he’s gonna have a great future.”
Ovechkin wants 163 targets to cross Gretzky, who was concerned from afar in Lapierre’s emotional second, speaking about his relationship with the Russian celebrity on nationwide tv whereas the rookie put the puck into the online and went sliding into the boards. Lapierre was all smiles after his dad and mom, grandparents, brother, sister and girlfriend witnessed his NHL debut as a part of a sellout crowd and can all the time have the “Great One” on the spotlight reel of his first objective.
“For a first game, I don’t think I could have asked for a better one,” Lapierre stated.
The hype going in was extra in regards to the aftermath of incidents between these groups final season and the modifications the Rangers remodeled the summer time to get greater and harder. They debuted a new-look lineup that includes gritty forwards Barclay Goodrow and Sammy Blais, enforcer Ryan Reaves and massive defensemen Patrik Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi, however the closest factor to a battle was a pair of roughing penalties in the primary interval.
Penalties — 9 of them — derailed the Rangers all night time.
“Especially against a team like Washington you don’t want to take too many penalties,” heart Mika Zibanejad stated. “That’s something we have to get better at in the future and think about but without taking anything away from our aggressiveness and playing hard.”
Washington targets adopted a number of of these penalties. After T.J. Oshie opened the scoring on the ability play in the primary, Justin Schultz added a power-play objective in the second and Lapierre scored 24 seconds in a while a two-on-one rush.
Ovechkin added one other on the ability play from his trademark spot in the faceoff circle to make it 4-0. Chris Kreider scored on the ability play for New York halfway by means of the third interval, however that was the one objective Vitek Vanecek gave up on 24 photographs in opposition to.
And Ovechkin wasn’t finished. He scored a short-handed objective — simply the fifth of his profession — to place the sport out of attain.
Ovechkin joked afterward he all the time tells assistant coach Scott Arniel he is able to play on the penalty kill. The Capitals will cross on that, and let Ovechkin hold scoring targets for the remainder of his new, five-year contract.
Alexandar Georgiev allowed 5 targets on 27 Capitals photographs, getting the nod in the primary half of a back-to-back with common starter Igor Shesterkin anticipated to be in web for the Rangers residence opener.
“A few breakdowns and odd-man rushes,” reigning Norris Trophy successful defenseman Adam Fox stated. “Just tighten up. We don’t have too much time to dwell on it.”
NHL EYES GAME
Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and senior vice chairman of participant security George Parros had been all in attendance for the primary Rangers-Capitals assembly since a recreation final season included six fights in the primary 5 minutes.
Blais and Washington defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk bought into it lower than two minutes in, however officers stepped in between them and different potential combatants earlier than anybody may drop the gloves.
It was clear the message had gotten by means of to play hockey and never flip the night time right into a boxing occasion.
“Our players and our coaches and our managers are professionals,” Bettman stated beforehand. “They know what’s expected of them, and we think it would be best if everybody focused on being on the right side of the line as opposed to the wrong side of the line.”
LAVIOLETTE SETS RECORD
Washington’s Peter Laviolette earned his 674th NHL win, passing John Tortorella for the document amongst American-born coaches.
“I’ve just worked with really good people,” Laviolette stated. “It’s not one man successful. it’s a workforce that’s successful, and so I take into consideration that and I take into consideration all of the people who I’ve linked with all through my teaching profession and I’m grateful greater than the rest.
Rangers: Host the Dallas Stars on Thursday in their residence opener at Madison Square Garden.
Capitals: Host the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night time.
Credits : foxnews