The New York Rangers are thrilled with offseason pickup Marian Gaborik’s production so far: four goals in four games, all in the third period.
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is furious about his team’s defensive play, particularly in the third period.
Gaborik scored two goals about 2 1/2 minutes apart, Henrik Lundqvist held Alex Ovechkin without a point, and the Rangers came back to beat the Capitals, 4-3, last night in Washington in a rematch of the teams’ wild playoff series.
“It’s why players like him are so special,’’ New York’s Chris Drury said about Gaborik. “They can change the game on one play - and on one shot.’’
Washington led, 3-2, in the third period after consecutive goals by Nicklas Backstrom, the first a soft goal allowed by Lundqvist on a dump-in from center ice and the second on a power play. But Gaborik tied the game at the 8:09 mark, then put New York ahead at 10:42.
The go-ahead goal came on a power play, when Gaborik took a pass from 19-year-old rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto and put the puck past Jose Theodore.
“The defense was backing up,’’ Gaborik said, “so I just tried to fire it between his legs.’’
Ryan Callahan and Ales Kotalik scored for the Rangers on consecutive shots midway through the second period before Gaborik took over late.
Penguins 5, Flyers 4 - Bill Guerin and Alex Goligoski scored midway through the second period to help Pittsburgh hand host Philadelphia its first loss of the season.
Evgeni Malkin, who also had an assist, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy also scored for the Penguins, who were coming off their first loss of the season, 3-0 to Phoenix.
Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2 - Kris Draper and Johan Franzen scored 1:34 apart late in the second period to put Detroit ahead and Chris Osgood made 31 saves to help the Red Wings hold off Chicago in a rematch of the Western Conference finals.
Detroit came from behind to win its home opener after blowing a pair of two-goal leads in losses to St. Louis in Sweden.
Devils 4, Lightning 3 - Travis Zajac scored with one second left in regulation and New Jersey went on to a shootout victory in Tampa.
Zajac forced overtime when he scored from the low slot. Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the shootout, won by New Jersey and goalie Martin Brodeur, 2-0.
Sabres 2, Coyotes 1 - Thomas Vanek snapped a late third-period tie and Ryan Miller made 23 saves to help host Buffalo get past Phoenix.
Clarke MacArthur added a goal and assist for the Sabres, who rebounded from a season-opening overtime loss to Montreal.
Matthew Lombardi scored for the Coyotes and Jason LaBarbera made 37 saves in the loss.
Thrashers 4, Blues 2 - Ilya Kovalchuk made it a pair of two-goal games to open the season, scoring the go-ahead tally in the first period and adding an empty-netter as Atlanta spoiled St. Louis’s home opener.
Keith Tkachuk had a goal and an assist and topped 400 points with the Blues.
Flames 4, Oilers 3 - Nigel Dawes and Olli Jokinen scored in the shootout to give visiting Calgary its second comeback victory in Edmonton this season.
With Edmonton holding a 3-2 lead, Calgary pulled goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and scored with 1.5 seconds left in regulation when Jay Bouwmeester’s shot from the point was tipped in by Rene Bourque.
Daymond Langkow and Dawes also scored in regulation for the Flames (4-0), who beat the Oilers, 4-3, Saturday.
Kings 6, Wild 3 - Ryan Smyth scored two goals to help host Los Angeles to a victory over Minnesota.
The Kings took a three-goal lead in the first period on scores by Smyth, Anze Kopitar, and linemate Justin Williams. But Los Angeles needed third-period goals from Teddy Purcell and Smyth to overcome a rally by the Wild, who had drawn within 4-3 on a goal by Kim Johnsson 6:24 into the final period.
Sharks 6, Blue Jackets 3 - Dany Heatley made a good first impression on his new fans, scoring three goals in his home debut for San Jose to lead the Sharks over Columbus.
Dan Boyle added a goal and two assists, and Joe Thornton tied a franchise record with four assists for the Sharks, who had lost two of three on the road to open the season.
Predators 3, Avalanche 2 - Patric Hornqvist scored twice 2:17 apart in the third period as host Nashville rallied past Colorado.
Hornqvist’s first two goals of the season came after officials ruled no goal for Nashville nearly midway through the third on a shot that was trickling toward the line when Jason Arnott’s skate pushed it across.
Senators 3, Islanders 2 - Mike Fisher scored 32 seconds into overtime to lift Ottawa over New York in the Senators’ home opener.
Fisher broke down the left side and put the first shot of the extra period past Martin Biron.