WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored twice to pass Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL goals list, and the Washington Capitals spoiled Gerard Gallant’s New York Rangers coaching debut with a 5-1 win at Capital One Arena on Wednesday in the season opener for each team.
Ovechkin, who also had two assists after being a game-time decision because of a lower-body injury, tied Dionne at 731 when he knocked in a loose puck to make it 4-0 on the power play at 2:37 of the third period after John Carlson‘s shot deflected off Washington forward Anthony Mantha.
Ovechkin scored No. 732 when he got behind the Rangers defense, gathered a puck off the boards and put a backhand past Alexandar Georgiev for a shorthanded goal and a 5-1 lead at 12:01.
Nineteen-year-old Hendrix Lapierre scored in his NHL debut, T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist, and Justin Schultz scored for Washington. Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists, and Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves.
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette (674-440-128 with 25 ties) passed John Tortorella for the most NHL wins by an United States-born coach.
Chris Kreider scored, and Georgiev made 22 saves for the Rangers.
Gallant was hired as Rangers coach June 16, replacing David Quinn.
Oshie gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 4:39 of the first period when he reached behind Georgiev and swept in a loose puck during a power play.
Washington defenseman Nick Jensen had a goal overturned at 9:22 after New York challenged for offside.
Schultz made it 2-0 with a power-play goal from the point at 12:38 of the second period.
The Capitals scored 24 seconds later during a 2-on-1 when Oshie sent a drop pass between his legs across to Lapierre, who scored from the left face-off circle to increase the lead to 3-0 at 13:02.
Kreider made it 4-1 on the power play when he redirected a pass from Ryan Strome at 9:13 of the third.
Ovechkin can climb to third with 37 goals this season. Next on the list after Dionne is Brett Hull in fourth with 741. Jaromir Jagr is third with 766 goals followed by Gordie Howe in second with 801 and Wayne Gretzky in first with 894.