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Jagr's three power-play assists in 1st lift Rangers to 3-1 win over Caps @NHLdotcom

NEW YORK - Jaromir Jagr assisted on New York's three power-play goals in the first period as the Rangers busted out with the man advantage and handed the Washington Capitals their first loss of the season, 3-1 Friday night.

In what looked like a mismatch, the Rangers brought in an anemic power-play unit that had failed in all 15 chances over the season's first three games. Washington hadn't allowed a power-play goal in 12 short-handed situations while jumping to a 3-0 start.

That all changed quickly as Scott Gomez, Martin Straka and defenceman Michal Rozsival connected - with Jagr's help - in the first period when the Rangers were handed six power-play chances.

Alex Ovechkin answered Gomez's tally with his 100th career goal in just 167 NHL games. That briefly tied it for the Capitals before Straka and Rozsival put New York back in control during a period in which the Rangers outshot Washington 20-7.

Henrik Lundqvist was steady while seeing 25 shots, 14 through two periods, and helped the Rangers (2-2) snap a two-game losing skid.

Olie Kolzig made 38 saves in facing his second barrage of shots in New York in two games. The Capitals were outshot 31-12 Monday on Long Island, but won 2-1 over the Islanders.

Giving up 37 shots and eight power plays against the Rangers in the first 40 minutes was too much to overcome.

Ovechkin, who broke a tie with Jagr for 31st place on the Capitals career points list (202), was whistled for tripping just 10 seconds in. It took only 1:23 more for Gomez to net his long-awaited first goal and point with the Rangers.

Jagr made a backhanded pass from the wall to Brendan Shanahan in the right circle. Shanahan pushed it to Gomez, who was gliding to the net, for a quick shot past Kolzig.

Ovechkin tied it at 7:46, making a backhand-to-forehand move that got him past defenceman Paul Mara and sliding a shot in behind Lundqvist during the Capitals' second power play.

But Straka and Rozsival scored 4:33 apart to push the lead to 3-1.

Kolzig protested Straka's goal, scored into an open left side, because Marcel Hossa struck the goalie in the head with his elbow as he crossed the crease after his shot was stopped. The puck bounded to Straka, who easily netted his second of the season at 13:26.

Hossa appeared to be shoved from behind by former Rangers defenceman Tom Poti.

Jagr, who had the primary assist on Rozsival's second this season, is still being paid US$3.46 million this season by the Capitals. Washington traded him to New York in January 2004 after 2???? failed seasons.

Notes: Jagr moved past Paul Coffey into 11th place on the NHL career points list with 1,533. Ray Bourque is next with 1,579. ... D Paul Mara returned to the New York lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games. Jason Strudwick sat out. ... The Capitals' best start is 4-0, last done in the 1997-98 season when they made their only Stanley Cup finals appearance. ... Ovechkin, with two goals and two assists, has points in all four games.

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