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Ovechkin Helps Capitals Defeat Rangers in Game 1

Washington — Alex Ovechkin’s franchise-record 31st career playoff goal got the Capitals started before less-heralded teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera scored 46 seconds apart, and Washington beat the New York Rangers 3-1 last night in Game 1 of their first-round series.

Ovechkin, a two-time MVP who led the NHL with 32 goals this season, crashed the net to score on a power play about seven minutes into the second period to tie the game for the Capitals, the third-seeded team in the Eastern Conference.

Carl Hagelin had put sixth-seeded New York ahead 1-0 in the first period — the only puck that made it past Braden Holtby, who finished with 35 saves. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is tomorrow in Washington.

Senators 4, Canadiens 2

Montreal — Craig Anderson made 48 saves in a spectacular goaltending performance as Ottawa beat Montreal in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot scored early in the third period and gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 2 set for tonight at the Bell Centre.

Erik Karlsson and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for the Senators, who were outshot 50-31 but saw Anderson easily win the goaltending duel with Carey Price, who was beaten twice through the pads.

Montreal center Lars Eller was wheeled off on a stretcher bleeding heavily from the nose and was taken to a hospital with what the team said were head and facial injuries after he was caught with a shoulder to the face on an open-ice hit from Senators defenseman Eric Gryba.