Zibanejad extends scoring spree as Rangers top Stars
Mar 10, 2020
Mika Zibanejad reached 40 goals for the first time in his career, rookie Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves, and the New York Rangers opened a three-game road trip with a 4-2 victory over the slumping Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
Zibanejad scored a goal for the 11th game in a span of 12 games, joining Andy Bathgate (1962-63) as the only players in team history to accomplish that feat, according to NHL Stats and Information. He has 16 goals in the 12-game span.
Zibanejad also became the first Ranger to reach 40 goals since Rick Nash scored 42 in 2014-15.
Rookie Adam Fox scored the first goal for the Rangers, who improved to 10-1-0 in their past 11 road games and rebounded from a disappointing 1-3-0 homestand. Rookie Kaapo Kakko scored twice in the second period for his second career two-goal game.
Shesterkin was hardly tested until the third period in his second start back from a fractured rib suffered in a car accident on Feb. 23. His best save was a diving glove stop Radek Faksa with 6:05 left to preserve a 4-2 lead.
The Rangers (37-28-4, 78 points) are three points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the two Eastern Conference wild cards.
Dallas (37-24-8, 82 points) lost its season-high sixth straight game (0-4-2). The Stars are four points ahead of the Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets in the race for third place in the Central Division.
Roope Hintz scored a power-play goal 83 seconds into the third period, and Andrew Cogliano scored the other goal for Dallas with 8:08 remaining in the game.
Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop allowed four goals on 27 shots.
The Rangers opened the scoring 19 seconds in when Fox trailed a rush and finished the play with a wrist shot from the low slot. Zibanejad forced a turnover at the blue line in the defensive zone and then finished off a nifty pass from Brendan Lemieux with 9:48 remaining in the first.
Kakko got his first goal of the night by one-timing Brett Howden's no-look pass into the vacated right side of the net 7:03 into the second.
Kakko scored his second goal by getting a pass from Zibanejad near the crease, stickhandling around Bishop's stick and sliding the puck into the vacated right side of the net with 2:42 left in the middle period.
--Field Level Media