Sharpshooter Ovechkin takes another step to greatness

WASHINGTON-Alex Ovechkin moved a couple of steps closer to Wayne Gretzky's goals record, Hendrix Lapierre scored the first of his NHL career and the Washington Capitals made their season opener a great one for scoring instead of fighting.
The fisticuffs never materialized against the division rival New York Rangers, and the Capitals made their 5-1 victory Wednesday night memorable for Ovechkin passing Marcel Dionne for fifth on the career goals list and Lapierre scoring in his debut with Gretzky providing the soundtrack.
After scoring his 731st and 732nd goals, Ovechkin returned to the refrain of "game by game, day by day" in pursuit of Gretzky's mark, and was more enthused about Lapierre getting No 1 at age 19.
"I told him before, 'Just shoot the puck,'" Ovechkin said. "He's a talented kid, fun to watch and obviously I hope he's gonna have a great future."
Ovechkin needs 163 goals to pass Gretzky, who was involved from afar in Lapierre's emotional moment, talking about his relationship with the Russian superstar on television while the rookie put the puck into the net and went sliding into the boards.
Lapierre was all smiles after his parents, grandparents, brother, sister and girlfriend witnessed his NHL debut as part of a sellout crowd and will always have the 'Great One' on the highlight reel of his first goal.
"For a first game, I don't think I could have asked for a better one,"Lapierre said.
The hype going in was more about the aftermath of incidents between these teams last season and the changes the Rangers made over the summer to get bigger and tougher. They debuted a new-look lineup featuring gritty forwards Barclay Goodrow and Sammy Blais, enforcer Ryan Reaves and big defensemen Patrik Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi, but the closest thing to a fight was a pair of roughing penalties in the first period.
Penalties-nine of them-derailed the Rangers all night.
"Especially against a team like Washington you don't want to take too many penalties," center Mika Zibanejad said. "That's something we have to get bett

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