Panarin, Zibanejad help Rangers beat Canucks 6-4
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had two goals and an assist as the New York Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-4 Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.
Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller also scored for the Rangers, who are 7-0-1 in their last eight games. Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 shots.
“We keep talking about doing the right things,” Zibanejad said. “And we know we can score and just got to make sure we make the right decisions that we don’t try to sacrifice the defensive part or put ourselves in a bad spot that way. But I thought we did a good job tonight.”
Andrei Kuzmenko had a goal and an assist and Curtis Lazar, J.T. Miller and Conor Garland also scored for the Canucks, who have lost three straight. Elias Pettersson had two assists and Arturs Silovs had 22 saves in his NHL debut.
“They’ve got some good weapons on the ice, both on their (defense) and forwards,” Pettersson said. “But we know that. I think we’ve just got to just got to be better.”
Trailing 5-4, Vancouver pulled Silovs for an extra skater with 2:54 left to play. Panarin sliced a puck to Zibanejad, who sent the puck into the empty net with 1:34 remaining to seal the win.
Despite the loss, Canucks coach Rick Tocchet was pleased with his rookie goalie’s play against the Rangers.
“You don’t wanna throw him to the wolves but I think he battled and our team battled,” Tocchet said. “That team is built for the Stanley Cup.”
The Canucks had pulled within one at 8:51 of the third when Kuzmenko fired a shot under Shesterkin’s glove from the top of the slot. It was the Russian’s 23rd goal of the season.
Vancouver opened the scoring 4:52 into the game as Lazar tipped Dakota Joshua’s shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle for his third.
Zibanejad tied it 59 seconds later with his team-leading 28th as he faked a shot to get Silovs to move, then blasted a wrister past the rookie . It gave Zibanejad six goals during a five-game scoring streak.
“I got some pretty good speed coming down and try to freeze him and just try to pump fake and see what he gives me,” Zibanejad said. “I’ve done that a couple of times before so I don’t know if he bit on the pump fake and I saw opening between his legs there and tried to put it five-hole and it went in.”
New York took its first lead of the night at 7:03 when Panarin snapped a blistering shot that Silovs caught a piece of, but the puck bounced in.
Vancouver capitalized on a power play with 7:15 left in the opening period as Shesterkin lost his stick and Miller sent a snap shot sailing into the net for his 19th to tie it 2-2.
Panarin tipped Niko Mikkola’s long shot past Silovs for his 20th with 4:24 left in the first to regain the Rangers’ lead.
New York pushed its lead to 4-2 at 50 seconds into the second as Kreider tapped a pass across the slot from Zibanejad into the open net.
Kuzmenko used some dazzling stick work to get around Rangers defenseman Adam Fox, but his ensuing shot pinged off the crossbar. Garland picked up the errant puck and sent a backhanded shot past Shesterkin at 9:26 to pull the Canucks within one.
“It was good moment for me,” Kuzmenko said. “I win battle 1-on-1 with good skills before net. Garland, nice skills. Good goal for Garland.”
Miller fired a shot through traffic and over Silovs’ glove with 6:32 left in the middle period to restore the Rangers’ two-goal lead.
UP AND DOWN
The Canucks called up Silovs, the 21-year-old Latvian goalie, from Abbotsford of the AHL on Tuesday and sent G Spencer Martin down.
Kreider extended his point streak to six games (three goals, four assists). … Zibanejad has seven goals and two assists in a five-game point streak. … Panarin has six goals and six assists in a five-game streak. … D Jacob Trouba has a four-game point streak with one goal and five assists.
The Rangers have scored six goals in three straight games for the first time since 1989.
Rangers: At Edmonton on Friday night in the third of a four-game trip.
Canucks: Host Philadelphia on Saturday night to finish a three-game homestand.
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