Mika Zibanejad scored twice in the first period and the Rangers beat the shorthanded Washington Capitals 5-3 on Tuesday.
Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, Jacob Trouba and Jimmy Vesey also scored and Vincent Trocheck had two assists for the Rangers, who are 3-0-1 in their last four games and 5-2-1 in their last eight. . Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves to help New York win the opener of a five-game homestand, the longest of the season.
Matt Irwin had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Nic Dowd also scored for a Capitals team without star Alex Ovechkin (lower-body injury). Darcy Kuemper finished with 31 saves as Washington lost for the third time in four games.
The teams were skating 4-on-4 early in the third quarter after Washington’s Tom Wilson and New York’s Barclay Goodrow were called for harsh penalties. About 38 seconds later, the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin was whistled for holding, putting the Capitals on their third power play of the game. Shortly after the first two penalties expired, Shesterkin caught a high kick from Washington’s Dylan Strome to preserve New York’s two-goal lead.
Just six seconds after another Capitals power play expired, Dowd hit the rebound of his own shot up front to pull Washington within 4-3 with 8:12 remaining.
The Capitals pulled Kuemper for an extra skater with about 2 1/2 minutes to go, and Vesey hit an empty net to give the Rangers a two-goal lead with 2:11 remaining.
Zibanejad put the Rangers on the scoreboard first when he converted a pass pass to Vladimir Tarasenko and fired his return pass past Kuemper from between the circles at 4:09 of the first period.
Aube-Kubel tied it with 5:31 remaining in the first when she beat Shesterkin from right circle for her fourth of the season.
Zibanejad put Rangers back in front 16 seconds later with his second of the night and 34th team leader. Shesterkin made a long pass to Panarin, who brought the puck up the left side, dodged past defender Alexander Alexeyev, sliced into the net and past Zibanejad, who was driving forward and backhanded Kuemper. Shesterkin was credited with an assist, his first of the season.
the striped express
The Daily News sports editors curate the best Yankees stories of the week from our award-winning columnists and writers. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.
Kane pushed the Rangers’ lead to 3-1 with 1:14 left in the first when he received Adam Fox’s puck on a power play and fired a shot through traffic for his 19th of the season and third in six games since arriving in New York from Chicago before the trade deadline.
Trouba built a three-goal lead when he caught a cross from Trocheck in the left circle and fired a shot past Kuemper at 4:09 of the second. It was his seventh.
Irwin led the Capitals to 4-2 with 7:52 remaining in the half when he scored from left circle for his second.
It was the sixth time the Capitals have played without Ovechkin this season, including four games last month following the death of his father. Washington has lost all six without him, and the last nine date from last season. The Russian left-back has 36 goals and 26 assists in 62 games this season.
Fox’s assist on Kane’s goal gave him 50 for the season, joining Panarin (54) as the only Rangers with at least that many this season. He also made the Rangers the third multi-player team in the 50-assist club. Edmonton (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) and Vancouver (Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson) are the other two.
Capitals: Host Buffalo on Wednesday night in the first of two straight at home.
Rangers: Host Pittsburgh on Thursday night in the first of two straight games against the Penguins at Madison Square Garden.