Kreider scores 2 to lead Rangers to 4-1 win over Jets
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Chris Kreider scored twice and the New York Rangers beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 Sunday night.
Mike Zibanejad and Barclay Goodrow also scored for the Rangers, and Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba each had two assists. New York won its third straight.
“The team is playing well,” Kreider said. “Our play has been clicking. I am playing with some unbelievable linemates and unbelievable defensemen every time I’m on the ice.”
Igor Shesterkin stopped 45 shots to pick up his 28th win of the season.
“Yeah, I had lots of work today, but we did a great job,” said Shesterkin, who leads the league in goals-against-average (1.93) and save percentage (.942). “Blocked shots, lots. PK, great job, and solid play.”
It has become old hat for Rangers coach Gerard Gallant.
“Same old, same old,” he said. “He’s played great. He’s solid and made some big saves, especially the first period of the game. We got the early lead. It wasn’t a great game. I mean the shots (46 for Winnipeg) didn’t indicate the game for me. … He made some key saves.”
Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck finished with 18 saves.
“He’s (Shesterkin) had a pretty great season and he’s a pretty good goalie,” Ehlers said. “The shots are fine but we say it a lot. We had some traffic in front of the net but not enough, I think. We had some good chances, so that will come.”
Winnipeg lost for the sixth time in eight games and is eight points behind Nashville for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
“Obviously, there are things that need to change and we need to do that now,” Ehlers said. “I don’t know how many games we have left, 26, 27 — we want to make the playoffs, we’ve got to start winning some games. It’s not in three or four games. It’s now.”
Kreider got his second of the night — and 38th of the season — as he beat Jets defenseman Mike Schmidt to the puck and backhanded puck past Hellebuyck to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead at 6:21 of the third. Kreider tied Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl for second in the NHL in scoring, one behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews.
“Yeah, he’s rolling pretty good,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said of Kreider. “A big power-play goal tonight and he scored another nice goal, so the big guys are scoring big goals at key times. It put us in control of the game pretty good.”
Zibanejad deflected Trouba’s slap shot from the point to increase the lead to 4-1 and put the game away at 9:32.
Kreider, who was on Hellebuyck’s doorstep, scored on the power play with 2:32 left in the first to make it 2-0. It was his league-leading 19th with the man advantage.
The Rangers opened the scoring early in the first as Goodrow tipped a perfect pass from Trouba past Hellebuyck at 2:01.
Ehlers pulled the Jets to with a power-play goal with 6:26 left in the second period.
Winnipeg finished 1 for 6 on the power play. The Rangers were 1 for 2.
Rangers: At Minnesota on Tuesday night in the second of a four-game trip.
Jets: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night in the third of a four-game homestand.