Kreider-Zibanejad-Zuccarello Line Sparks 4-3 Rangers Win over Chicago

Linemates Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Mats Zuccarello each scored a goal, powering the Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night at The Garden.

Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves, notching his 445th career win, tying him for 6th place all-time, with Terry Sawchuk.

After Brandon Saad scored a power play goal 5:41 into the game to make it 1-0, Filip Chytil scored an electric, unassisted goal at 13:20 to tie the score, 1-1. Zuccarello pushed in a loose puck at 17:38 to make it 2-1 Rangers.

In the 2nd period, Kreider’s team-leading 22nd goal of the season, at 13:09 made it a 3-1 New York lead.

Alex DeBrincat score a power play goal 1:40 into the 3rd period to cut the lead to 3-2, and then, as has happened so often this season, it was a matter of whether the Rangers could hold a 3rd period lead. Zibanejad’s empty-netter with 19 seconds to go made it 4-2, and Dominik Kahun‘s goal with one second left gave the game its 4-3 final score

The Rangers [now 20-20-7, 47 pts] play the Bruins in Boston Saturday night.

Rangers Calm Hurricanes, 6-2, as Zibanejad Has 4 Points

Mika Zibanejad had two goals and two assists, one of a trio of Rangers to score twice, as the Blueshirts beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-2, Tuesday night at The Garden. Pavel Buchnevich scored a pair of power-play goals, and Anthony DeAngelo scored his 3rd and 4th of the season.

The Rangers have now beaten the Hurricanes at The Garden 16 straight times.

Coming on the heels of Sunday afternoon’s clunky 7-5 loss to Columbus, the Blueshirts played one of their strongest games of the season, playing solid hockey in both ends of the ice.

Saku Maenalanen had both Carolina goals.

Mats Zuccarello had three assists. Chris Kreider and Boo Nieves each had two assists. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 of 36 shots to get the win.

The Rangers [now 19-20-7, 45 pts] host the Blackhawks Thursday night at The Garden.

Blue Jackets Thump Rangers, 7-5

Five goals should be enough to win most hockey games. In fact, it would’ve been enough to win about 35 games so far this season.

Sunday night in Columbus was not most hockey games.

The Blue Jackets scored early and often, beating the Rangers, 7-5, Sunday night, despite two goals from Mats Zuccarello. Columbus outshot the Blueshirts, 40-27.

After digging a 6-3 hole in the first minutes of the 3rd period, the Rangers got goals from Zuccarello and Jimmy Vesey to narrow the gap to 6-5 with 3:12 to play. But Nick Foligno’s goal at the 18:14 gave Columbus their winning margin. It was Foligno’s 2nd goal of the game.

Ryan Strome (his 7th) and Chris Kreider (his 21st) scored the other New York goals. Artemi Panarin, Anthony Duclair, Cam Atkinson, Lucas Sedlak, and David Savard had the other Blue Jacket goals.

The Rangers [now 18-20-7, 43 pts] host the Carolina Panthers Tuesday night at The Garden.

Penguins Punish Rangers, 7-2

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored four goals in the 2nd period and three more in the 3rd, to wallop the Rangers. 7-2, Wednesday night at The Garden. The loss snapped New York’s two-game winning streak.

Seven different players scored for Pittsburgh. Zach Aston-Reese, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang, Dominik Simon, Evgeni Malkin, Tanner Pearson, and Sidney Crosby, all scored. The Penguins have now won seven straight games.

The seven goals allowed was the third time this season the Blueshirts had allowed that many [Oct. 7 at Carolina, a 8-5 loss, and Nov. 15 at the Islanders, a 7-5 loss].

The 1st period was scoreless. The Blueshirts actually out-played Pittbsurgh, displaying a strong, fast, and feisty style. Things went south in the 2nd.

Henrik Lundqvist left the game in the 3rd period, after giving up six goals on 18 shots. Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers.

The Rangers [now 17-15-7, 41 pts] hit the road, for a game Friday in Denver against the Avalanche.