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Alexis Lafreniere, Igor Shesterkin fuel Rangers past Wings

Apr 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Andrew Copp (18) skates ahead of Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter (24) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Alexis Lafreniere scored two goals and Igor Shesterkin made 20 saves in the New York Rangers’ second consecutive shutout, a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Saturday afternoon.

Lafreniere recorded the first multi-goal performance of his career after being a healthy scratch in New York’s previous game against Philadelphia. Shesterkin notched his fifth shutout of the season for the Rangers, who have won five of their last six games overall.

Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano each scored a goal for New York (49-21-6, 104 points). Barclay Goodrow supplied two assists.

Forward Kaapo Kakko left the game in the opening period with a lower-body injury.

Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots for Detroit (29-36-10, 68 points).

Both of the previous games between these teams required overtime. Detroit won a shootout 3-2 in New York on Feb. 17 and the Rangers captured a 5-4 overtime victory in Detroit on March 30.

The third meeting, however, was dominated by the Rangers from start to finish.

A pair of delay of game penalties for flipping the puck over the glass — first by Greiss and then by Sam Gagner — gave the Rangers a 5-on-3 situation.

Zibanejad cashed in with his 28th goal of the season at 13:44 of the first period. He one-timed a shot from the left circle off a feed from Artemi Panarin. Chris Kreider picked up the second assist.

The Red Wings were fortunate to be down just 1-0 after the opening period after being outshot by a 17-3 margin.

A Red Wings turnover at center ice led to Vatrano’s goal — the 100th of his career — at 3:46 of the second period. Vatrano ripped a shot from the slot that eluded Greiss. Zibanejad and Adam Fox had the assists.

The Rangers made it 3-0 on Lafreniere’s first point in nine games. He scored on a 2-on-1 situation off a feed from Goodrow at 4:37 of the third.

Lafreniere’s second goal of the game came at 14:17 on a backhander after some nifty stick work.

–Field Level Media