Artemi Panarin scores twice, New York Rangers blank Devils again

Apr 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal at 12:51 of the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on April 15, 2021 in New York City.Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Artemi Panarin collected two goals and an assist as the host New York Rangers cruised to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, shutting out their division rival for the second game in a row.

Panarin posted his third multi-goal game of the season. He has 10 goals in 18 games since returning March 13 from a two-week absence for personal reasons.

Defensemen Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren scored in the opening 6:39 as the Rangers improved to 11-4-3 in their past 18 games. New York remains four points behind the Boston Bruins for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division.

Colin Blackwell added a career-high three assists while Ryan Strome set up Panarin’s goals as the Rangers beat the Devils for the fourth straight meeting.

New York’s Igor Shesterkin had an easy 16-save night to follow up his first career shutout, when he stopped 27 shots Tuesday as the Rangers beat New Jersey 3-0. He improved to 6-2-2 since returning from a groin injury.

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The Devils played without leading scorers Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt, who both sat out because of undisclosed injuries. New Jersey lost its fourth straight and fell to 2-8-2 in its past 12 games.

New Jersey goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood allowed four goals on 33 shots.

The Rangers produced one of their best periods of the season and held a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes.

Just 47 seconds in, Trouba opened the scoring with a rising wrist shot from the right faceoff circle. The tally was set up by a drop pass from Blackwell, who gained possession following a no-look pass by Mika Zibanejad.

Lindgren’s first goal in 98 games since Nov. 10, 2019, came on a wrister from the left circle after getting a slick pass from Panarin with 13:21 remaining in the opening period. It was just the second career goal for Lindgren in 108 games.

Panarin made it 3-0 with eight minutes left in the first when he hammered a slap shot from the left circle over Blackwood while on a two-on-one with Strome. He got his second goal with 7:09 left in the second by converting an easy tap-in at the right side of the crease after getting a pass from Strome, who chased down a loose puck.

Rangers rookie Vitali Kravtsov nearly added his first career goal midway through the third period, but after the Devils challenged, he was ruled offside.

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–Field Level Media