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.
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.
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).
The teams continue their four-game series Saturday back at Madison Square Garden, and Sunday in New Jersey.
The Rangers got off to fast start, scoring three times in the first period.
Trouba got the Rangers on the scoreboard 47 seconds into the game as he took a pass from Blackwell and beat Blackwood from the right circle for his second of the season.
Lindgren made it 2-0 at 6:39 with his first goal of the season as he got a pass from Panarin and beat Blackwood from between the circles inside the right post. It was his first goal in 97 games.
Panarin scored on a one-timer from the top of the right circle off a pass from Ryan Strome on a 2-on-1 rush to made it 3-0 with 8 minutes left in the first.
Hughes had a chance off a Rangers turnover, but Shesterkin denied his attempt in close about 5 minutes into the second.
Panarin got his second of the night to push the Rangers' lead to 4-0 with 7:09 left in the middle period. Blackwell brought the puck up the right side and fired a shot that went of the end boards and the side of the goal. The puck came out to the right side, where Strome swooped in and passed it over to Panarin, who quickly put it past Blackwood for his 15th of the season.
P.K. Subban hit a goalpost for New Jersey with about 5 minutes left in the second.
Blackwood is now 0-5-2 with a 3.71 goals-against average in seven starts since getting the win in a shutout at Boston on March 28. That victory ended a stretch of three wins in four starts.
Zibanejad had an assist on Trouba’s early goal, extending his point streak to four games. He has 15 assists and 27 points in his last 18 games.
KRAVTSOV'S FIRST ... ALMOST
Rangers rookie Vitali Kravtsov appeared to get his first NHL goal just past the midpoint of the third period, converting a nice, cross-ice pass from Pavel Buchnevich on a Rangers rush. However, the goal was disallowed after Devils coach Lindy Ruff challenged the play for offside.
JONES ON ICE
Zac Jones, the defenseman who helped UMass win the national championship earlier this month, has been skating with the Rangers just days after signing his entry-level contract.
Rangers coach David Quinn said he has liked what he has seen from the 20-year-old, but was unsure when he'd put him in the lineup.
“You've got a guy who can really skate, he's got a great hockey I.Q., just competes,” Quinn said. “There's a lot to love about him. ... But this is the National Hockey League and you don't just take a someone and drop him in the lineup. They've got to earn it and they've got to give you reason to put him. We're just going to watch him and if it seems to be the right move and he gives us a chance to win hockey games, he'll go in.
"We certainly won't hesitate from putting him in if we think he'll help us win.”
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