Marian Gaborik scored two goals about 2 1/2 minutes apart in the third period, Henrik Lundqvist held Alex Ovechkin without a point, and the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Thursday night in a rematch of the teams' wild playoff series.
Washington led 3-2 in the third period after consecutive goals by Nicklas Backstrom, before Gaborik tied the game at the 8:09 mark. He then put New York ahead at 10:42 on the power play.
Ovechkin entered Thursday with five goals and four assists, but the two-time NHL MVP was kept in check by Lundqvist and the Rangers' young defensemen.
Gaborik came from Minnesota with a $37.5 million, five-year deal, in a bid to boost the Rangers' offense. Sure is working: He has four goals in four games.
New York has won three consecutive games since a season-opening loss at Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh.
Ryan Callahan and Ales Kotalik scored for the Rangers on consecutive shots midway through the second period, before Gaborik took over.
Alexander Semin put the Capitals ahead 1-0 about 9 minutes into the game, knocking in a cross-ice return pass from defenseman Brian Pothier.
New York pulled even during a 4-on-4 a little more than 8 1/2 minutes into the second period, when Callahan picked up Semin's errant pass intended for Ovechkin. Callahan broke the other way and beat Jose Theodore with a backhander.
Only 2 minutes later _ on their next shot _ the Rangers took a 2-1 lead, with Kotalik tapping in a pass from Artem Anisimov.
Backstrom tied it on a soft goal 3:17 into the third period, taking a shot as he crossed center ice on the left wing. The puck went across Lundqvist's body and ticked off his blocker on the way in.
Backstrom then put the Capitals ahead 3-2 on a power-play goal _ their first with the man-advantage after starting the game 0 for 7.
Then it was Gaborik's turn.
This was the teams' first meeting since last season's playoffs, when the Rangers led the Capitals 3-1 in the first round, before Washington came back and advanced.
It was a wild series that featured all sorts of gamesmanship and intrigue: Rangers coach John Tortorella was suspended for a game for squirting water on spectators and throwing a bottle into the stands; Ovechkin was ordered not to watch the Rangers practice; Rangers agitator Sean Avery was benched; a Rangers player accused a Capitals player of biting him.
NOTES: New York recalled F Evgeny Grachev from AHL affiliate Hartford, but he was scratched. ... D Milan Jurcina was a healthy scratch for Washington. ... This was Rangers enforcer Donald Brashear's first game in Washington since leaving as a free agent after last season. "I don't think we'll make too much of it. He's on the other team; that's it," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said before the game. Asked whether he expected Brashear to be looking for a fight, Boudreau replied: "I don't know if we'll have anybody that he'll have a willing dance partner with." Brashear didn't get into any fights. ... Avery sat out a fourth consecutive game with a sprained knee.