Chris Kreider scored two power play goals in the third period and Igor Shesterkin stopped all 31 shots he faced Friday night as the host New York Rangers cruised to a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ryan Strome and Alexis Lafreniere scored in the first period while Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin had three assists apiece for the Rangers, who have won five of six (5-1-0) since opening with a loss and a tie.
The shutout was Shesterkin’s first of the season and the third of his career.
Goalie Elvis Merzlikins recorded 33 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have alternated losses with wins over the last five games.
The Rangers took control when Strome and Lafreniere scored 3:02 apart late in the first.
Panarin set up Strome’s goal by taking a pass from Nils Lundkvist and stopping just in front of the blue line. Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington, in front of Panarin, could not adjust, which opened up a passing lane for Panarin.
The left winger passed to Strome, who strode into the slot and fired a shot between Cole Sillinger and Gabriel Carlsson and over the glove of Merzlikins with 7:31 left.
The assist was the first NHL point for the 21-year-old Lundkvist.
A nifty pass from Fox set up Lafreniere’s goal. Fox skated around the net with Andrew Peeke in pursuit. Fox fired a shot through the crease and between five players — teammate Sammy Blais four Blue Jackets — to Lafreniere, who went to one knee and beat Merzlikins beyond his glove.
Another impressive assist, this one by Panarin, set up Kreider’s first power play goal at 1:19 of the third and with just seconds left on the man advantage. Panarin shuffled the puck to the left of Merzlikins and dished a pass beyond Vladislav Gavrikov and to Kreider, who backhanded the shot home.
Then Fox and Panarin exchanged the puck before Kreider, stationed next to Merzlikins, redirected Fox’s shot with 8:37 left.
–Field Level Media