Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist for the third straight game, and Jimmy Vesey scored his first goal as a Blueshirt, as the Rangers held off a late San Jose rally and beat the Sharks, 7-4, Monday night at The Garden. Antti Raanta, in his first game of the season, made 27 saves for the win.
Marc Staal, Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes each also had their first goals of the season.
Staal gave the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead 12:06 into the 1st period, scoring on a one-timer off a pass from Derek Stepan. But the Sharks tied the score with :58 left in the period, as Logan Couture scored a power play goal to make it 1-1.
In the 2nd, Nash grabbed the puck as it bounced off the end boards and put it past Martin Jones at 4:15, to give the Blueshirts a 2-1 lead. Kreider made it 3-1 midway through the period, scoring a power play goal from a tough angle, past Jones up high, to make it 3-1 at 10:21. Kreider is the first Ranger to start a season with three multi-point games since Bernie Nicholls in 1990.
In the 3rd, Brett Burns made it 3-2 with 10:47 to play. But the Rangers responded, scoring two quick goals to make it a three-goal margin. Hayes made it 4-2 at 12:16, and Vesey scored, off a nice pass from Stepan, 21 seconds later at 12:37.
Just when you thought the lead was safe, Burns’ 2nd goal of the game, at 13:57, cut it to 5-3, and Joe Pavelski deflected in a shot for a goal at 15:31 to make it 5-4. Pavelski had a goal and three assists on the night. It was back to a one-goal game with 4:29 to go.
But Mats Zuccarello and Michael Grabner scored empty net goals in the final two minutes of the game for the final 7-4 margin.
Stepan, Zuccarello, and Ryan McDonagh each had two assists on the night.
The Rangers [now 2-1-0, 4 pts] host the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night at The Garden.