Chris Kreider and Brad Richards scored in the third period as the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 in the opener of their National Hockey League second-round playoff series.
At Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Matt Greene scored the winning goal for the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their series.
Kreider, 20, has been with the Rangers since April 11. Four days earlier, he had won the National Collegiate Athletic Association title with Boston College.
“It was a surreal experience; I got goose bumps, obviously,” Kreider said about the crowd chanting his name at Madison Square Garden. “I was really tired after the goal, but didn’t feel so tired when they started chanting.”
Kreider broke a 1-1 tie with a slap shot seven minutes into the final period and Richards scored 90 seconds later with a wrist shot.
Coach John Tortorella said the team introduced Kreider to “our concept” and then turned him loose on the ice.
“There are a number of things that we’ll end up working with him on but this isn’t the time of year to do that,” Tortorella said. “We just want his instincts and speed, and then just go out there and play.”
Greene’s 9-foot Tip-in
New York’s Artem Anisimov opened the scoring 12 minutes, 38 seconds into the second period with a wrap-around shot past Braden Holtby. Jason Chimera then tied the score for Washington with four seconds left in the period.
Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves in goal for New York, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and Holtby stopped 11 shots. New York hosts Game 2 of the best-of-seven series tomorrow.
In St. Louis, David Backes gave the Blues a 1-0 lead in the first period before Slava Voynov tied the game with three left in the period.
Greene scored a shorthanded goal on a nine-foot tip-in with a minute remaining in the second period as the Kings went ahead 2-1. Dustin Penner cemented the win with a 145-foot slap shot with 15 seconds left in the game.
The Blues will seek to tie the series 1-1 tomorrow on home ice.
In today’s games, the New Jersey Devils open their second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Nashville Predators are in Phoenix as they try to tie their series 1-1 in their second game against the Coyotes.