SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)T.J. Oshie scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, Vitek Vanecek stopped 30 shots and the Washington Capitals rallied past the top-seeded Florida Panthers 4-2 in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night.
Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller also scored for Washington, which trailed 2-1 going into the third period. Teams had been 0-39-1 against Florida in the regular season when trailing after 40 minutes, 0-22-0 when doing so on the Panthers’ home ice.
The Capitals must have ignored those numbers. Kuznetsov tied the game after a Florida turnover with 11:46 left, then Oshie got behind the defense and tapped a pass by Sergei Bobrovsky for what became the winner 2:23 later.
Eller wrapped it up with an empty-netter with 49 seconds left.
Claude Giroux and Sam Bennett scored for Florida, which has not won the opening game of a postseason series since 1997. Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers.
Game 2 is Thursday in Florida.
PENGUINS 4, RANGERS 3, 3 OT
NEW YORK (AP) – Evgeni Malkin scored on a deflection 5:58 into the third overtime, giving Pittsburgh a win over New York in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Jake Guentzel scored twice and Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Sidney Crosby also had two assists. Casey DeSmith had 48 saves before leaving the game midway through the second overtime. Louis Domingue, who appeared in only two games during the regular season, came on and had 17 saves.
On the winning goal, Malkin was positioned in front of the net when he tipped a long shot by John Marino over Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.
Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fox and Andrew Copp also scored for the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad had two assists. Shesterkin finished with 79 saves, second to the NHL record of 85 saves by Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo in the 2020 playoffs.
AVALANCHE 7, PREDATORS 2
DENVER (AP) – Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews scored 22 seconds apart in a five-goal first period, sending Colorado over Nashville in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The five goals tied the team playoff record for a period and chased Nashville’s backup goaltender David Rittich from the game with 4:56 remaining in the first.
Andrew Cogliano, Cale Makar and Artturi Lehkonen also scored in the first. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog built the lead to 6-0 in the second period. MacKinnon finished with two goals and Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves.
Matt Duchene scored twice for Nashville. Rittich was replaced by Connor Ingram, who finished with 30 saves.
Game 2 is Thursday in Denver.
FLAMES 1, STARS 0
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Elias Lindholm scored and Jacob Markstrom recorded his second career playoff shutout as Calgary beat Dallas in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
Lindholm scored a power-play goal early in the first period. Markstrom stopped all 16 shots he faced as Calgary earned just its second playoff win at the Saddledome since 2015.
Dallas goal Jake Oettinger stopped 25 of 26 shots and lost his NHL playoff debut.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday in Calgary. The series shifts to Dallas for Saturday’s Game 3 and Monday’s Game 4.
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