NEW YORK, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Sergei Gonchar scored two power-play goals and assisted on another in the opening 14 minutes Wednesday night to carry the Washington Capitals past the New York Rangers, 5-2.
The Rangers put Dan Blackburn in goal, who at age 18 became the fourth-youngest goaltender to start an NHL game.
With the New York offense virtually non-existent in the game's early stages, Gonchar -- like Blackburn a high draft pick -- collected his second and third goals of the young season in a 5:41 span.
Jaromir Jagr, who left with an undisclosed injury later in the first period, assisted on Gonchar's first of the night and defenseman Sylvain Cote's first of the season 13:53 into the contest that made it 3-0.
The Rangers fought within 3-2 on second-period goals by Zdeno Chara and Radek Dvorak, but Ulf Dahlen scored against his former team just under four minutes into the third and Peter Bondra added Washington's fourth power-play tally of the night some 9 1/2 minutes later.
At just 18 years, 143 days, Blackburn joined former Ranger John Vanbiesbrouck as one of the youngest netminders in NHL history. He stopped 22 shots, making a beautiful glove save on a point blast by Cote when it was still 1-0.
Moments later, however, Trevor Linden won a faceoff in the right circle back to Gonchar, whose slap shot went through Steve Konowalchuk's screen and beat Blackburn with 9:07 to go in the period.
The 10th overall draft pick in June, Blackburn was beaten earlier by Gonchar, who was taken 14th overall in 1992, when the Capitals defenseman burst through the neutral zone, took a drop pass from Jagr and blasted a shot just inside the left goalpost.
Washington had been just one for 12 on the power play in its first two games, including a none for seven showing on Monday afternoon in Boston. But the Rangers' penalty-killing deserted them after defenseman Dale Purinton was sent off for instigating and captain Mark Messier went to the box for slashing before the game was 10 minutes' old.