WASHINGTON — Alexander Semin had gone 14 playoff games without scoring.
"We're not getting anywhere without Alex Semin scoring," said Bruce Boudreau, coach of the top-seeded Capitals. "We need him to go and create that other offensive threat."
Semin was shut out in seven-game losses to Pittsburgh in 2009 and Montreal in 2010 (in which the top-seeded Capitals lost Game 1 in overtime). His last goal came against the Rangers in Game 7 of a 2009 first-round series.
Wednesday, Jason Arnott intercepted defenseman Marc Staal's attempt to clear the puck. Arnott centered to Semin, who one-timed a shot past Henrik Lundqvist.
"Any time you lose in overtime you feel like it got away because all you have to do is get one goal," Staal said. "It's disappointing. It's the playoffs. We'll come back and try to win the next one."
Semin rarely speaks to reporters and didn't have much to say about his goal. But his teammates knew its significance.
"Last year he was little bit upset he didn't score a goal," said Alex Ovechkin, who tied it with 6:16 left in regulation. "And right now it's very important for him to score a goal, step up and show his leadership."
First Period—None. Penalties—New York bench, served by Prospal (too many men), 5:31; Zuccarello, NYR (boarding), 10:13; Semin, Was (hooking), 18:08.
Second Period—None. Penalties—None.
Third Period—1, N.Y. Rangers, Gilroy 1 (Wolski, Prust), 1:56. 2, Washington, Ovechkin 1 (Semin, Green), 13:44. Penalties—Ovechkin, Was (roughing), 15:17.
Overtime—3, Washington, Semin 1 (Arnott), 18:24. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—N.Y. Rangers 5-6-8-6—25. Washington 9-8-6-10—33. Power-play opportunities—N.Y. Rangers 0 of 2; Washington 0 of 2. Goalies—N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 0-1-0 (33 shots-31 saves). Washington, Neuvirth 1-0-0 (25-24). A—18,398 (18,398).
Red Wings recover after a slow start
DETROIT — Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen scored midway through the second as the Red Wings overcame early problems to beat the Coyotes 4-2 in Game 1.
Kyle Turris scored 2:16 in to put Phoenix up. Over the rest of the first, Detroit committed four penalties. It killed them all, including a 91-second five-on-three.
"We weathered the storm," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Datsyuk tied it 7:38 into the second on a wraparound. Franzen put the Red Wings ahead 4:24 later on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line.
"Once they got the momentum in the second period, we couldn't get it back," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We hung around, but we're going to have to be much better."
First Period—1, Phoenix, Turris 1 (Whitney, Doan), 2:16. Penalties—V.Filppula, Det (tripping), 7:53; Lidstrom, Det (hooking), 8:22; Abdelkader, Det (high-sticking), 11:32; Schlemko, Pho (slashing), 12:54; Helm, Det (hooking), 18:49.
Second Period—2, Detroit, Datsyuk 1 (Franzen, Holmstrom), 7:38. 3, Detroit, Franzen 1, 12:02. 4, Detroit, Rafalski 1 (V.Filppula), 18:16 (pp). Penalties—Eaves, Det (hooking), 4:12; Hanzal, Pho (holding stick), 5:30; Klesla, Pho, major (fighting), 10:44; Bertuzzi, Det, major (fighting), 10:44; Jovanovski, Pho (hooking), 16:54.
Third Period—5, Detroit, Hudler 1 (Miller), 3:16. 6, Phoenix, Vrbata 1 (Hanzal, Korpikoski), 7:38. Penalties—Abdelkader, Det (interference), 8:16. Shots on Goal—Phoenix 11-8-9—28. Detroit 9-17-10—36. Power-play opportunities—Phoenix 0 of 6; Detroit 1 of 3. Goalies—Phoenix, Bryzgalov 0-1-0 (36 shots-32 saves). Detroit, Howard 1-0-0 (28-26). A—20,066 (20,066).
Around the league: Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, out since March 8 with a broken right hand, will be a game-time decision for tonight's opener. … Red Wings center Mike Modano was a healthy scratch. "It's tough," said Modano, whose 561 goals are the most by a U.S.-born player. "I just need to continue to do what I'm doing, and you wait for the call. And then hopefully, you take advantage of it." Coach Mike Babcock said Modano, 39, simply was the odd man out.