Zibanejad nets SO winner, Kane scores, Rangers top Canadiens
Montreal — Mika Zibanejad scored the shootout winner and Patrick Kane scored his first goal with New York as the Rangers rallied to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Thursday night.
“We’re up and down all night, we just kept battling back and fortunately for us, at the end of the day we got to two points,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Didn’t play a perfect game but we created some good offence and some key guys scored for us tonight.”
Alexis Lafreniere and Jacob Trouba added goals in regulation, and Artemi Panarin finished with three assists. Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves.
“Right now it’s a much better feeling,” Panarin said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a shootout or not, two points are two points so we just take it and keep going.”
New York snapped a two-game losing streak and handed the Canadiens a fifth straight loss.
With his first goal with the Rangers out of the way, Kane can now focus on gelling with his new teammates.
“The first two games, with not much practice time having some time off away from the rink, it probably could have gone a little bit better,” Kane said.
“But it’s nice to get a few practices in and obviously it was a long, long four to five days just waiting for this one to try and get going here and get back on the scoresheet. So, nice to get one.”
Kaiden Guhle, Alex Belzile and Josh Anderson scored for Montreal. Sam Montembeault stopped 30 shots.
Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis was pleased with his team’s performance despite yet another round of injuries. Anthony Richard was called up earlier Thursday after Christian Dvorak was deemed unavailable to play. Jordan Harris, who also missed the game, was replaced by Chris Wideman in the lineup.
“We learned this morning that (Dvorak) and (Harris) wouldn’t play, some guys came in and we still kept at it,” St. Louis said. “(Tierney) has more minutes, he takes it up a notch and the train keeps moving forward.
“What we’re trying to build is very encouraging because our collective game is showing that it’s tougher than any individual.”
Guhle opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game when he batted home a loose puck out of mid-air.
Guhle then took a slashing penalty that allowed the Rangers to tie the score at 3:16 of the first period. Lafreniere tipped Adam Fox’s point shot for his fourth goal in the last five games.
The Canadiens regained the lead when Belzile beat Shesterkin with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 17:02. The 31-year-old scored his fourth goal of the season and his third in as many games.
Trouba tied the game 48 seconds into the second period when his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle beat Montembeault on the glove side.
Anderson restored the Canadiens’ edge with a short-handed goal at 13:20 of the second.
Chris Tierney stole the puck from Kane in the defensive zone and skated away on the rush, drawing two players to his side before sending a pass to Anderson, who scored his 19th of the season.
Kane responded on the same power play at 14:31 with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Montembeault over his left pad.
In overtime, Fox took a holding penalty with 1:27 remaining. Montreal’s Rafael Harvey-Pinard redirected a shot from Mike Hoffman on the power play, but it clanged off the crossbar, leaving the game tied.
Montreal failed to score on all three shootout attempts. Zibanejad had the lone score in the shootout.
Panarin joins select trio
Panarin recorded his seventh 70-point season in his first eight seasons. He became the third undrafted player to reach the milestone, along with Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny.
1,500 games for referee
NHL referee Marc Joannette worked his 1,500th career game. He was presented with personalized Canadiens and Rangers jerseys by coaches Martin St. Louis and Gerard Gallant. Joannette was also honored by the Canadiens during a television timeout in the first period.
Rangers: At Buffalo on Saturday.
Canadiens: Host New Jersey Devils on Saturday.