May 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 3-1 and the Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of their National Hockey League Eastern Conference playoff series.
In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues topped the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series and the Detroit Red Wings evened their series at 1-1 with a 5-4 overtime victory at the Anaheim Ducks.
Tonight, the New York Islanders will try to tie their series 1-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins; the Senators will seek their second straight win against the Canadiens; the Chicago Blackhawks, with a 1-0 advantage, host the Minnesota Wild, and San Jose has a 1-0 lead at the Vancouver Canucks.
At the Verizon Center in Washington, New York’s Carl Hagelin scored in the first period.
Alex Ovechkin tied the game on a power play in the second for the Capitals, who led 3-1 within another eight minutes on goals 46 seconds apart by Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera.
Chimera did a sudden turn and fired his shot from 53 feet past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
“There was an unexpected pass, and I was a little slow to react,” Lundqvist said. “But definitely I have to stop that. A couple of minutes, a couple of big plays for them. It takes away the fire.”
The Capitals host Game 2 tomorrow.
Erik Karlsson put Ottawa ahead in the first period at Bell Centre in Montreal. Goals by Rene Bourque and Brendan Gallagher in the second made it 2-1 to the Canadiens.
The Senators restored their one-goal advantage in the third on goals by Jakob Silfverberg and Marc Methot one minute, 53 seconds apart, and Guillaume Latendresse made it 4-2 for Ottawa with 6:05 left in the game.
At Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Patrik Berglund of the Blues tied the game 1-1 at 3:44 of the third period and Barret Jackman knocked the winner into the net with 51 seconds left to play.
Dustin Brown gave the Kings a 1-0 lead on a power play midway through the first period.
The teams move their series to Los Angeles tomorrow for Game 3.
At Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the Red Wings blew a 4-1 lead in the third period.
Justin Abdelkader, Damien Brunner and Johan Franzen scored to give Detroit a 3-0 lead. Saku Koivu got a goal for the Ducks and Franzen scored again, 20 seconds into the third period.
Ryan Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Ryan then scored for the Ducks to tie it at 4-4.
Gustav Nyquist got the winning goal for the Red Wings on a power play 1:21 into overtime.
The series now moves to Detroit for Game 3 tomorrow.
To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
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