Zibanejad scores 2 in 700th game as Rangers pound Red Wings
DETROIT (AP) — Mika Zibanejad scored twice in his 700th career game as the New York Rangers snapped a three-game skid by pulling away to an 8-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Adam Fox had the go-ahead goal and two assists for the Rangers, who scored six unanswered goals in the third period to avenge a 3-2 overtime loss to Detroit at home Sunday.
“I think we really played a great 60 minutes — I don’t know that anything changed in the third period,” Zibanejad said. “We had some good chances that didn’t go in in the first two periods, and we just trusted ourselves and kept our focus and it paid off.”
Chris Kreider extended his point streak to a career-best seven games with a second-period goal and an assist.
Barclay Goodrow, Julien Gauthier, Libor Hajek and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York (7-5-3), which set a season high for goals. Igor Shesterkin made 18 saves.
“I think we played really good hockey for two periods, and then in the third period I thought some pucks went in and we were around the net a little more,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We took it to them, and just kept going. It’s great to have a period like that, but I was more happy with the way we played start to finish.”
Joe Veleno and Lucas Raymond scored for the Red Wings (7-4-3), and Ville Husso stopped 25 shots. Jonatan Berggren added an assist in his NHL debut after being called up from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins earlier in the day.
Zibanejad scored off Fox’s feed with 4:20 left in the first. Veleno answered later in the period with a shot from the slot off Berggren’s pass.
A Rangers turnover in their own zone led to Raymond’s sixth goal, a one-timer from the slot set up by Dylan Larkin.
Kreider scored in front on a power play to tie it at 2 with nine minutes left in the second.
Fox scored from the point with 13:58 remaining, beating Husso on the stick side.
“I thought we got to the net and got some dirty goals and some rebounds,” Fox said. “Our forecheck caused some turnovers and that’s when we are at our best. It was a really good period, but we have to build on it.”
Goodrow scored on a backhand a minute later for a 4-2 lead. Goals by Zibanejad, his team-high ninth, and Gauthier soon followed.
“If we are not exact, if we’re not at the top of our game, we’re just not good enough,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “I don’t say that in a bad way, I think our guys know that. We’ve shown when we’re at the top of our game, we can play with anyone.”
The late collapse reminded Larkin of an 8-3 loss at Buffalo on Oct. 31.
“It’s close, it’s 2-2, we’re feeling good and they get one and same story as Buffalo, it just kept going in,” he said. “We shot ourselves in the foot with errors and they capitalized on them, whether it was turnovers, missed assignments or short-handed goals — whatever it was, it’s not fair to our goalies that we just let it keep going like that.”
NOTES: Detroit forward Oskar Sundqvist returned after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. … Rangers F Artemi Panarin, who had two assists, has 28 points in 18 career games against the Red Wings. … The Rangers have earned at least one point in eight straight games against Detroit (6-0-2). … Zibanejad made his NHL debut in Detroit on Oct. 7, 2011, with Ottawa.
Rangers: Visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Red Wings: Begin a four-game trip at Los Angeles on Saturday.
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