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Shanahan, Jagr lead Rangers over Capitals

Oct 6, 2006 - 2:10 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Brendan Shanahan and Jaromir Jagr showed why they entered the 2006-07 season ranked first and second, respectively, in goals among active NHL players.

Shanahan scored two goals after Jagr got his team off to a quick start as the New York Rangers posted a 5-2 triumph over the Washington Capitals in the season opener for both clubs.

Shanahan, a seven-time All-Star who spent the last 10 seasons with Detroit, became the 15th player in NHL history to score 600 career goals. The three-time Stanley Cup champion reached the plateau at 2:58 of the third period with his second tally of the game, climbing within one of Hall of Famer Jari Kurri for 14th place on the all-time list.

"It's always good when you score in your first game with a new team," Jagr said of Shanahan. "If he is going to play that way, maybe he'll get 700 this year. He's a big threat. When you leave him open for a little bit, he will take the one-timer. The opponents have to play him tight, and the other guys get open."

Rangers coach Tom Renney believes Shanahan brings more to the team than just offense.

"The key word is his presence," Renney said. "It's his presence on his ice, in our locker room and in practice. Wherever he is, he's a real gentleman."

Jagr, who was named the 24th captain in team history prior to the game, tallied 29 seconds into the contest to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. It was his 27th career point in a season opener, tying Wayne Gretzky for the second-highest total all-time.

"It's special in New York," Jagr said. "It's special to be captain on this team. We have a lot of fun. The coaches, management and players are working together. Everyone is honest. I am proud to be the captain of this team."

"He's such a good player and he's such a good man," Renney said. "After all he did for us last year, and on the heels of this summer with (shoulder) rehab, I don't think you could have scripted it better. Everybody in this building is pretty happy tonight."

The goal was the 592nd of Jagr's career.

"I was happy I could score right away," Jagr added. "I am glad I got it on the first shift. I took advantage of what they gave me. If they go high, I try to go around them."

Blair Betts gave New York a 2-1 lead 7:07 into the second period, when he wristed a shot between the pads of goaltender Olaf Kolzig. Shanahan followed with his first goal 94 seconds later, one-timing a pass from Petr Prucha by Kolzig. Both tallies came as a result of turnovers.

"Tonight was just one of those things," Capitals defenseman Jamie Heward said. "We gave away the puck in the neutral zone, and good players are going to make you pay for it. We made a couple of bad turnovers that cost us goals. We tried to cut down on the penalties, and tonight it was turnovers."

Martin Straka added an empty-netter and an assist while Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves for the Rangers, who evened their record at 9-9-5 in season openers at home.

"How can you not be satisfied to win your home opener," Renney said. "It really helped us to get our footing. Washington always plays us well. They are a good team and they do a lot of good things to make us adjust in a lot of ways."

"It feels good to get a win right away," Lundqvist said. "It's fun to be part of Shanahan's 600th goal. It's really fun to watch him play. He's a good player and a good guy in the locker room. He's going to play a huge part for us."

Prize rookie Alexander Semin and former Ranger Rico Fata tallied and Kolzig turned aside 31 shots for Washington, which fell to 15-15-2 in the first game of the campaign.






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