WASHINGTON — John Carlson added three assists to his historic start, T.J. Oshie scored two power-play goals and the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 5-2 Friday night for their second consecutive home victory.
Carlson assisted on each of Oshie’s goals and one by Michal Kempny in the Czech defenceman’s return from a hamstring injury. With 17 points, Carlson tied Edmonton captain Connor McDavid for most in the NHL, and he leads the league with 14 assists.
Carlson was already the seventh defenceman in NHL history with 14-plus points in his first eight games of the season and the first to do so in 30 years. He has six multipoint games in nine opportunities and set the franchise record for most points by a defenceman in October.
Oshie got credit for his first power-play goal when Rangers defenceman Marc Staal knocked the puck into his own net. He deflected Carlson’s point shot past New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist for his second.
Kempny drove to the net and scored in the first period of his first game action since tearing his left hamstring in March and undergoing surgery in April. The Capitals planned to ease the defenceman back into the lineup with limited minutes after being out so long.
Lundqvist stopped Jakub Vrana on a penalty shot and made 29 saves to help keep New York in the game in the second half of a back-to-back set. Pavel Buchnevich had a power-play goal, and top off-season addition Artemi Panarin scored his third of the season for the Rangers, who have only played five games this season to Washington’s nine.
The Capitals have won seven in a row against the Rangers. … Garnet Hathaway sealed it with an empty-net goal with 27.7 seconds left. … With an assist on Kempny’s goal, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin registered his 1,219th point and passed Jean Beliveau for 42nd on the career scoring list. … Washington goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 26 of 28 shots. … Capitals D Jonas Siegenthaler played two nights after colliding with teammate Richard Panik during a game against the Maple Leafs and leaving with a left shoulder injury. … Panik was placed on long-term injured reserve with an upper-body injury and will miss at least 10 games. F Brendan Lemieux returned to the Rangers lineup, replacing Greg McKegg. … Nationals ace Max Scherzer dropped a baseball as part of a ceremonial faceoff to honour Washington’s first World Series appearance since 1933.
Rangers: After three games in 17 days to start the season, New York continues a busy stretch by hosting the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Capitals: Open a five-game road trip Sunday at the Chicago Blackhawks with stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto to follow.
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press