For the first time in nearly 19 years, two Capitals -- Steve
Eminger and Petr Sykora -- scored the first goal of their NHL
careers in the same game during Washington's 3-2 victory over the
New York Rangers on Monday.
Capital Dainius Zubrus (left) grabs Jaromir Jagr's stick during second-period action in Washington's 3-2 win against the Rangers.
The last time that happened was Oct. 13, 1986, when Yvon
Corriveau and Michal Pivonka each scored their first career goals
during the Capitals' 7-6 victory over the Rangers.
Rookie Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals' leading scorer with five
points, provided the winner on a power play at 9:03 of the third
period. After Washington killed its first two penalties of the
period, Ovechkin scored his third goal of the young season while
the Capitals had a two-man advantage. He gathered the rebound of
Jamie Heward's shot in front of the net and slipped a wrist shot
past goaltender Kevin Weekes.
"I saw the puck come to me and I thought: 'Oh, my God, the puck
(is coming) to me, I must shoot it," Ovechkin said. "I got
Defender Darius Kasparaitis shouldered the blame for putting the
Rangers two men down when he was penalized for interference.
"I cost us the game," Kasparaitis said. "It's been almost
every game where I leave with a five-on-three. That has to
Goaltender Olie Kolzig stopped 30 of 32 shots to earn the
victory for Washington, which has played four games in six days.
"For us to be competitive, we need everything to fall into
place at once," Kolzig said. "We need to be the hardest-working
team out there every night."
The Capitals entered with a league-high 82 penalty minutes, but
killed two penalties late in the game -- both holding calls against
Chris Clark -- to preserve the victory.
"They've got a couple of very talented lines and we gave them
two power plays at the end," Kolzig said. "We really beared down
and the guys made some saves. I don't think they really had many
shots in the last minute. We really killed them off, didn't allow
them to set up and get many chances."
Added Eminger: "It seems like in a couple games we've been
really unlucky on the (penalty killing), so we were kind of
emphasizing the penalty killing a little bit. We're pushing an
extra bit on those penalty kills."
Eminger's first NHL goal came with 1 second remaining in the
second period and pulled the Capitals into a 2-2 tie. He scored off
the rebound of a shot by Clark, who got his first assist of the
"I've been waiting for two years now, and it finally came,"
Eminger said. "It's a nice relief."
Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said Eminger's effort was the best he
"That's Steve's best game as a pro," Hanlon said. "Not only
just the goal, but that was kind of a byproduct of him being up the
ice all night, playing both ends of the ice. He ended up being
rewarded with a great goal, which ended up being likely the real
key turning point."
Marcel Hossa gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead midway in the second
period with his second goal of the year off an assist by Marcel
Hossa. Ward slipped a wrist shot behind Kolzig, who has allowed 17
goals in four games.
Former Capital Jaromir Jagr scored his team-leading third goal
on the Rangers' first power play early in the second period. Jagr
put in a slap shot from the right circle off assists from Tom Poti
and Michael Nylander.
Sykora pulled the Capitals even with his first career goal. Jeff
Friesen sent a shot on goal and Sykora stuffed home the rebound off
Weekes' pads for a 1-1 tie.
Ovechkin, the top overall pick of the 2004 draft, is
the only Capital to have a point in each of Washington's first four
games. ... Jagr has 27 goals in 55 career contests against
Washington. ... The Capitals teamed with the D.C. Firefighters Burn
Foundation and the District Chop House restaurant to donate 30
tickets for wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center
and Bethesda Naval Hospital to attend the game.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Verizon Center Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Paul Devorski, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Pat Dapuzzo, Brian Murphy
Attendance: 10,760 (58.5% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Jaromir Jagr (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Tom Poti, Michael Nylander
Petr Sykora (1)
Assists: Jeff Friesen, Andrew Cassels
Marcel Hossa (3)
(Power Play) Unassisted
Steve Eminger (1)
Assist: Chris Clark
Alex Ovechkin (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Jamie Heward, Bryan Muir