WASHINGTON -- After a humbling loss in their last game, the Washington Capitals were looking for an early emotional lift.
"It's been a while," said Gordon, who scored for the first time since Oct. 11, 2003. "It feels good to contribute and be part of a big win for us."
Washington, coming off a 5-0 loss at Carolina on Thursday night, won for the third time in four games and snapped New York's four-game road winning streak.
Matt Pettinger also scored for the Capitals, whose last four victories have come against teams that totaled 100 or more points last season.
"If we can keep bringing that same energy, we're going to be a tough team," said Gordon, who also picked up an assist, matching his career high for points.
Michael Nylander scored for the Rangers, who had at least a point in five straight games.
Washington outshot New York 17-5 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead on Gordon's goal at 11:59. Gordon picked up a puck that skipped off defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh's stick deep in the Rangers zone, skated in on goal and scored on his third whack in front of the net.
"We talked about the first period. We want to have a good start," said Ovechkin.
That impressive opening mirrored the Rangers' early struggles.
"We needed to be in here and take it to this team -- and we chose not to," New York coach Tom Renney said. "I am awfully disappointed with how we started this game tonight because I think that was two points that could have been had."
New York's offense, unable to establish any momentum while the Rangers were killing six straight penalties, started putting some pressure in the second period with 16 shots at Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig. Most were routine, but Kolzig sprawled along the goal line with 7:07 remaining in the second, finally gloving the puck after a goal-mouth scramble, then swept aside Matt Cullen's drive at the left post with 3:14 left.
"When you play at home, most of the teams are going to prey on you when they have a chance," said Jagr, who was shadowed by Washington's Shaone Morrison and held without a point for the fourth time in seven games.
Ovechkin's goal made it 2-0 early in the third period. With the Rangers' Petr Prucha bearhugging him at the top of the slot, Ovechkin took a lead pass from Dainius Zubrus and somehow managed to uncork a low shot that skittered between Lundqvist's legs at 4:53.
Pettinger increased the lead with 9:06 left, scoring from between the circles after a Gordon feed sprung him for a dash along the boards.
With Zubrus off for tripping, Nylander ruined Kolzig's bid for his 34th career shutout, scoring from the left side with 1:51 left.
|Washington's Olaf Kolzig has 41 saves as the Capitals win, limiting the Rangers to one goal. (AP)|
|NY Rangers (9-7-1)||0||0||1||1|
|Washington (7-5-4) «||1||0||2||3|
Save Pct.: .976
|11:59||Boyd Gordon, Wrap Shot - Unassisted.|
|04:53||Alex Ovechkin (11), Wrist Shot - Assists: Dainius Zubrus, John Erskine|
|10:54||Matt Pettinger (2), Snap Shot - Assist: Boyd Gordon|
|18:09||Power Play - Michael Nylander (7), Tip-In - Assists: Brendan Shanahan, Adam Hall|
|02:34||Orr: Fighting - 5 min.|
|02:34||Brashear: Fighting - 5 min.|
|14:32||Shanahan: Hooking - 2 min.|
|05:07||Rachunek: Hooking - 2 min.|
|08:34||Hall: High sticking - 2 min.|
|17:13||Malik: High sticking - 2 min.|
|00:32||Nylander: High sticking - 2 min.|
|05:52||Malik: Hooking - 2 min.|
|11:31||Semin: Interference - 2 min.|
|14:47||Brashear: Roughing - 2 min.|
|00:45||Ward: Roughing - 2 min.|
|00:45||Clymer: Roughing - 2 min.|
|00:45||Sutherby: Roughing - 2 min.|
|05:29||Orr: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.|
|17:28||Zubrus: Tripping - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 16263|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Bill McCreary, Craig Spada|
|Line Judges - David Brisebois, Pierre Champoux|