NEW YORK — Marian Gaborik and Brian Boyle scored minutes apart in the second period to break open a tight game, and the top-seeded New York Rangers opened their first-round Eastern Conference series with a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
The Rangers, the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time since they won the Stanley Cup in 1994, shook off their 1-2-1 regular-season mark against the Senators and easily dispatched them in Game 1.
Ryan Callahan scored in the first period, Gaborik and Boyle pushed the lead to 3-0, and Brad Richards added a goal in the third for the Rangers. New York will host the No. 8 Senators again on Saturday night before the best-of-seven series shifts to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.
BRUINS 1, CAPTIALS 1 (OT)
In Boston, Chris Kelly scored on a long slap shot 1:18 into overtime and the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins beat Washington in the opener of their first-round playoff series.
Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Capitals.
Tim Thomas stopped all 17 shots he faced for Boston.
The game was physical and scoreless until Thomas turned back a Washington attack early in the extra period.
Brian Rolston dropped it for Benoit Pouliot to clear the zone and he pushed it up to Kelly, who slapped it over Holtby’s glove for the game-winner.
SHARKS 3, BLUES 2 (2OT)
In St. Louis, Martin Havlat scored his second goal of the game 3:34 into the second overtime, giving the San Jose a victory over the St. Louis in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Andrew Desjardins tied it for San Jose with 5:16 in regulation, banging in a one-timer from the slot from Tommy Wingels, and Dan Boyle had two assists. Antti Niemmi made 40 saves.
Patrik Berglund scored his first two career playoff goals in the third period for the Blues, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.