Sidney Crosby scored two goals in 52 seconds, Nick Bonino had the winner in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin got much of the buzz heading into the showdown of two of NHL's best teams, and Ovechkin collected his fourth goal of the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it in the third, but Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 of his 32 saves in the final period to help the defending Stanley Cup champions to the victory.
Crosby was a threat to score just about every time he touched the puck. He beat Braden Holtby with his first two shots of the second period.
Holtby stopped 18 shots, but he allowed Bonino's goal at 12:36. Game 2 is Saturday night.
A red-rocking Verizon Center was electric through a goal-less first period, and the sellout crowd got a chance to boo quickly in the second period. When Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen lost the puck battle with Patric Hornqvist in the neutral zone, Crosby finished on a 2-on-1 with Jake Guentzel 12 seconds in.
As public-address announcer Wes Johnson was just finishing announcing that goal, Holtby allowed a juicy rebound off Olli Maatta's point shot that Hornqvist corralled and fed to Crosby for his second of the night. Within the first 64 seconds of the second period, Crosby had as many goals as he had points in the Penguins' series against the Capitals last year.
New York Rangers 2, at Ottawa 1: Erik Karlsson scored on a bad-angle shot with 4:11 left in the third period, sending the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the opener of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
The Senators captain beat fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist from just above the goal line. The shot pinged off Rangers center Derek Stepan before going into the net.