NEW YORK (AP) — Filip Chytil, Vladimir Tarasenko And Patrick Kane met early and Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves as New York ranger beat the hapless Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad And Vincent Trocheck also scored goals for Rangers, who secured a playoff berth on their Monday off, then won for the seventh time in eight games. They are in the last 11 at 9-1-1 and are two points behind second-placed New Jersey in the Metropolitan Division. They play the Devils in Newark on Thursday.
Shesterkin improved to 34-12-7 as Rangers won at home for the sixth time in the last seven. They’re 14-5-0 in their last 19 at Madison Square Garden. New York turned its season around with a 6-4 comeback home win over St. Louis on December 5. Since that win, Rangers are 33-10-5.
Chytil opened the scoring to 5:23 with his 22nd goal of the season and assists Alexis Lafreniere And K’Andre Miller.
Tarasenko made it 2-0 at 6:50 by blocking a pass from defenseman Braden Schneider to the Blue Jackets goaltender Michael Hutchinson for his sixth goal since joining Rangers from St. Louis on February 9. Tarasenko has points in five of his last seven games and 11 points in his last 13. He has scored 16 goals in total this season.
Kane increased the lead to 3-0 in the eight-minute mark of the first with his 21st goal of the season and fifth since New York took him from Chicago on March 1.
It was the first time since joining Rangers that both high-profile signings had scored goals in the same game.
beginner forward Kirill Marchenko put the Blue Jackets first on the board at 11:45 a.m. with his 20th goal Johnny Gaudreau reduced the gap to 3:2 at 19:31 with his 19th goal.
Panarin scored his 25th at 17:46 of the second period on the power play with assists for Zibanejad and Adam Fox.
Zibanejad added his lead 38th goal at 14:27 by guiding a cross-ice pass from Panarin past Hutchison.
Panarin leads the Rangers with 84 points. Zibanejad has 13 points in his last eight games.
Trocheck added a blank shot at the score of 16:21.
The injury-plagued Blue Jackets played eight rookies against the Rangers: forwards Trey Fix-Wolansky, Liam Foudy, Kent Johnson Marchenko and Hunter McKownplus defender Tim Berni, Jake Christiansen And Billy Sweezey.
Columbus has the fewest points in the Eastern Conference while key players are seeing a slew of injuries. Top defender Zach Werensky not played since November due to labrum tear, top scorer patrick laine is out with a tricep strain and defender Eric Gudbranson is sidelined with a severed shoulder.
NOTES: New York was guaranteed its second straight playoff berth when Florida and Buffalo lost Monday. Rangers’ 14 playoff appearances since the 2005-06 season ranks second most in the NHL. … Rangers scratched battered defender Ryan Lindgren. … The Blue Jackets scratched Laine and fellow forward Mathieu Oliver, as well as defenseman Nick Blakenburg and goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.
Blue Jackets: On Thursday with the NHL-leading Boston Bruins.
Rangers: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
Source : sports.yahoo.com