NEW YORK (AP) Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin met twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night to earn their second win over the Penguins in three days.
Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider And Jacob Trouba also scored for the rising Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and been 12-4-0 in their last 16 at Madison Square Garden.
Shesterkin won his fifth straight win and scored his second shutout of the season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sweeping save five minutes into the third period to save the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other of the season was a 1-0 home win against Philadelphia on November 1st.
“When you work hard and honestly, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. “We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans enjoyed it. We play for them.”
The Penguins lost their third straight game and sit third in the Metropolitan Division, 12 points adrift of Rangers. Pittsburgh, still in the wildcard position, is attempting to make the playoffs for the 17th straight season.
“Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” said coach Mike Sullivan. “You have to have a short memory at this time of year. We are still in control of our destiny.”
Patrick Kane and defender K’Andre Miller also had two assists each as New York improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-placed New Jersey Devils, who lost in Florida on Saturday.
“It was a big game for our goalkeeper and our team,” said Panarin. “If you work on playing properly, you have chances to score.”
Rangers have been 29-9-5 since Dec. 5, when they turned their season around with a 6-4 comeback home win over St. Louis.
As on Thursday, when Rangers beat Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He scored his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating the Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.
Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle from a pass Adam Fox.
Tarasenko increased the lead to 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers on Feb. 9 in a trade with St. Louis. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with Rangers.
Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck Assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal that propelled Rangers to fifth on the franchise list within two seconds of Vic Hadfield.
New York won on Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and netted an empty net.
After Casey DeSmith Jarry replaced at the net after Kreider’s goal, Trouba defeated the substitute with a sharp angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to take the lead to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.
Panarin scored the second again at 4:38 p.m. – his 22nd goal of the season – for a 6-0, with assists for Kane and Philip Chytil.
“We build chemistry, build every day and every game,” Kane said.
Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.
“It’s nice to see so many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were with Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We are happy tonight.”
Zibanejad assisted Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – in his last 20 games.
“It was just one of those nights where the puck goes in for us,” said Zibanejad. “And of course Igor gives us a boost when he makes all these saves.”
NOTES: The penguins were missing the defender Jeff Petry after being hit forward by an unpunished Rangers elbow Tyler moth on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenders Jan Ruetta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defender Markus Friedman for the first time since February 11. … Rangers were without an injured defender Ryan Lindgren for the 10th game in a row.
Penguins: Hosts Ottawa Senators on Monday.
Rangers: host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
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Panarin and Shesterkin led Rangers to a 6-0 Penguin defeat originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source : sports.yahoo.com