NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Vesey had a goal and an assist, Artemi Panarin also scored, and the New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Matt Rempe and Chris Kreider also scored, Barclay Goodrow had two assists and Igor Shesterkin finished with 20 saves to help the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers get the postseason off to strong start.

The Rangers, seeking their first Stanley Cup championship in 30 years, won their third straight and 11th in the last 14 games. New York’s Peter Laviolette became the first coach in NHL history to take six different teams to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Martin Fehervary scored and Charlie Lindgren stopped 27 shots for the Capitals, who had won three straight and four of their last five games to earn the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night.

With the Rangers up 3-1, Vesey had a great chance to add to the lead in the opening minute of the third period. However, Lindgren stopped his initial attempt in close and the rebound deflected off Vesey and went wide with Tom Wilson knocking it away.

Kaapo Kakko had a shot go off the goalpost about six minutes into the period.

Kreider made it 4-1 as he put a backhander past Lindgren on a breakaway from the right side with 3:43 left. It was his 41st postseason goal, extending his franchise record.

The Rangers bottled up Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, who had no shots on goal. He was held without a shot only five times in 79 games during the season.

After a scoreless first period in which the teams combined for 11 shots on goal, there were four goals in the second period.

Rempe got the Rangers on the scoreboard first, sweeping in the puck from the left side off a deflection across the front of the net by Vesey at 4:17.

Panarin, who had a career-high 49 goals during the regular season, made it 2-0 just 33 seconds later at 4:50 as he fired a shot past Lindgren from the right circle. Alexis Lafreniere knocked defenseman Vincent Iorio off the puck and shoulder-first into the boards. Lafreniere then send the puck to Trocheck, who sent across to Panarin for the goal.

Iorio went to the dressing room after the play and did not return.

Vesey made it 3-0 as he got the puck off a draw in the right circle and fired it past Lindgren at 6:23. Rempe in front knocked down Beck Malenstyn to give Vesey some space for his shot.

Fehervary deflected a shot by Wilson off his foot and past Shesterkin to get the Capitals on the scoreboard at 7:31.

Rempe was whistled for charging to give the Capitals a power play 2:07 into the game. The Capitals managed just one shot on goal during the advantage and had several shots blocked.

After a shot by Nic Dowd at 4:50 for their second of the game, Washington didn’t manage another shot on goal until Dylan Strome’s attempt with 2:01 left in the period and Wilson’s follow on the rebound.

Both teams had two power plays in the first period and neither could take advantage.

The Rangers improved to 21-9 in the openers of a seven-game series at home.


AP NHL playoffs: and