NEW YORK (AP) — Artemi Panarin had two goals and an assist, Igor Shesterkin got his second straight shutout, and the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-0 Thursday night.
Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren also scored to help New York win for the sixth time in nine games (6-1-2). Colin Blackwell had a career-high three assists and Ryan Strome added two.
“Igor’s been great for us,” Blackwell said. “He really kept us in that game. They had a couple of chances, a couple of flurries where they kind of pressed the ice toward us and he made some big saves.”
Shesterkin finished with 16 saves for his second NHL shutout — and second in three days against the Devils. He had 27 saves in a 3-0 win at New Jersey on Tuesday night. In this one, he had to make three saves in the first, nine in the second and four in the third. The Rangers also blocked 20 shots in front of him.
“Indeed there was not much work in this one,” Shesterkin said through a translator. “Guys did a great job, they blocked a lot of shots. I was facing some easier shots and the fans really helped a lot. That’s how I kept the concentration.”
The Rangers remained four points behind Boston for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division after the Bruins beat the New York Islanders 4-1.
Mackenzie Blackwood finished with 29 saves while taking a regulation loss for his fifth straight start. The Devils have now lost four straight and eight of nine (1-6-2).
“We gave up chances we don’t normally give up,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We didn’t have nearly the energy we had the other night. … It’s a game that was pretty disappointing for us.”
The teams continue their four-game series Saturday back at Madison Square Garden, and Sunday in New Jersey.
Bruins 4, Islanders 1
BOSTON — Taylor Hall scored his first goal for Boston and Tuukka Rask stopped 22 shots to earn his first victory since February — and 300th of his career — in the Bruins’ victory over the New York Islanders.
Rask had played just once since March 7 because of a back injury. His teammates gave him an easy one, outshooting the Islanders 45-23 — including a 23-7 first period — and getting two goals from Brad Marchand and one from Craig Smith to win their second straight game.
Travis Zajac scored his first goal for New York, and Semyon Varlamov made 41 saves. The Islanders had won five of their previous six games, and trail the first-place Washington Capitals by two points in the East Division.
Sabres 5, Capitals 2
WASHINGTON — Anders Bjork scored his first goal with his new team and added an assist, helping Buffalo spoil Nicklas Backstrom’s 1,000th game.
Sam Reinhart scored his 15th goal and Victor Olofsson added his 12th for Buffalo, which has won five of its last nine following an 18-game winless streak. Casey Middlestadt added the first short-handed goal of his career during the Sabres’ three-goal second period. Tage Thompson scored an empty-netter.
Dustin Tokarski made 27 stops for Buffalo after Linus Ullmark was scratched with a lower body injury. Tokarski, Buffalo’s fourth-string goalie, won for the first time since stopping 25 shots in Montreal’s 3-1 victory over Ottawa on Dec. 12, 2015.
Anthony Mantha scored his second goal in as many games with Washington following his trade from Detroit. Dmitry Orlov also scored.
Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 1
DETROIT — Jakub Vrana scored in his Detroit debut, and Troy Stecher added two goals for the Red Wings.
Vrana and Richard Panik played for the first time since the Red Wings acquired them in a trade Monday with Washington. Vrana put Detroit up 2-1 with a breakaway goal in the second period.
Michael Rasmussen scored into an empty net for the Red Wings, who have a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.
Duncan Keith scored the only goal for Chicago, which remained four points behind Nashville for the fourth spot in the Central Division.
Lightning 3, Panthers 2, OT
TAMPA, Fla. — Victor Hedman scored 54 seconds into overtime to give Tampa Bay the victory against Florida.
The Lightning remained tied for first place in the Central Division with Carolina, though the Hurricanes have a game in hand. Florida is one point back.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for his NHL-leading 26th victory of the season and added an assist. Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist. Ross Colton also scored for Tampa Bay.
Chris Driedger stopped 16 shots for the Panthers. Patric Hornqvist and Anthony Duclair scored for Florida, which has one win in the past four games.
Flyers 2, Penguins 1, SO
PITTSBURGH — Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier scored in the shootout and Philadelphia defeated Pittsburgh.
Giroux and Couturier were the lone shooters for Philadelphia. Jake Guentzel scored for Pittsburgh, but Carter Hart stopped Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang to seal the win.
Jakub Voracek scored his eighth of the season in regulation for the Flyers, who snapped a two-game skid. The Flyers won for just the ninth time in their past 25 games. Hart stopped 31 shots for his first win in eight starts.
Crosby scored his 17th of the season for Pittsburgh, which had its three-game win streak end.
Hurricanes 4, Predators 1
RALEIGH, N.C. — Warren Foegele scored the first of three goals by Carolina in under eight minutes and the Hurricanes snapped a two-game skid.
Andrei Svechnikov, Vincent Trocheck and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes. Svechnikov and Trocheck each added an assist. Petr Mrazek made 19 saves for Carolina, improving to 3-0-1 since returning from a thumb injury that sidelined him for more than two months.
Erik Haula had a short-handed goal for Nashville against his former team, trimming the deficit to 3-1 in the third period.
Juuse Saros stopped 25 shots for the Predators, who lost for only the second time in seven games.
Jets 5, Maple Leafs 2
TORONTO — Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves to lead Winnipeg past Toronto.
Kyle Connor added two goals, including one into an empty net, to go along with an assist, while Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists for Winnipeg. Neal Pionk chipped in with two assists as the Jets moved within three points of the Leafs for the top spot in the North Division.
John Tavares, added a goal and an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Toronto.
Jack Campbell, who started the season 11-0-0 before Monday’s 4-2 loss in Montreal to the Canadiens, allowed three goals on six shots in the first period before getting pulled in favor of David Rittich.
Stars 4, Blue Jackets 1
DALLAS — Denis Gurianov had his first two-goal game of the season, Miro Heiskanen and Joe Pavelski also scored and Dallas beat Columbus.
The defending Western Conference champion Stars, who are in sixth place in the Central Division, went ahead for good when Jason Dickinson assisted on goals by Gurianov and Heiskanen just more than a minute apart late in the second period for a 2-1 lead.
The Stars won on a night when Nashville and Chicago, the teams directly ahead of them in the standings, both lost.
Jack Roslovic scored on the first shot by Columbus, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.