Alexander Semin's sublime skill has never been in doubt. His commitment to using it on every shift, though, has been the subject of much consternation during his tenure as a Washington Capital. But if the mercurial winger's effort in Game 1 against the New York Rangers is an indication of what's to come, the rest of the NHL should watch out.

On Wednesday, the Capitals improved to 20-0-1 this season when Semin scores, after he fired a shot past Henrik Lundqvist in overtime. Semin's one-timer was so sweet, it even left the New York Rangers' all-star goalie in awe.

"The shot was just a rocket," Lundqvist said. "I didn't have time to react on that one."

The Capitals' 2-1 win was critical for the team's confidence after last spring's first-round collapse against Montreal. That Semin notched the winner may have been equally as important, given that his springtime struggles have come to symbolize a Washington hockey team yet to realize its potential in the postseason.

Semin carried a 14-game playoffs goal drought into the Rangers series after being held to a pair of assists against the Canadiens last April (despite launching 44 shots on net) and no goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals.