Chris Kreider scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season as the New York Rangers defeated the visiting Montreal Canadiens 3-2 Tuesday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
Kaapo Kakko and Julien Gauthier also scored for the Rangers. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who had to leave Saturday’s victory against Columbus in the third period after taking a knee to the head and was checked for a concussion, returned to the net and showed no ill effects in making 31 saves.
Christian Dvorak had a goal and an assist and Josh Anderson also scored for the Canadiens, who have lost six of their past seven games. Cayden Primeau, making his first NHL appearance of the season for the injured Jake Allen, who was also involved in a collision Saturday, stopped 31 of 34 shots.
The game ended with some acrimony. Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher was assessed a roughing penalty and a 10-minute misconduct following a faceoff with 28 seconds remaining when he sucker-punched New York’s Barclay Goodrow. Anderson and the Rangers’ Jacob Trouba fought just after the final buzzer.
Kreider snapped a 1-1 tie at 3:50 of the second period. He broke out of his own zone on a four-on-two break and made a cross-ice pass to Mika Zibanejad, who fell to his knees in the neutral zone but was able to regain his skates in time to take the pass and keep his teammates onside. Zibanejad made a return pass to Kreider as he was charging toward the left post and he tipped the puck past Primeau.
Gauthier made it 3-1 with an unassisted goal at 1:56 of the third, putting a backhander over Primeau’s pads while falling to the ice after creating a turnover behind the net.
The Canadiens pulled back within a goal just 22 seconds later as Anderson jumped on the rebound of a shot by Dvorak and put it past Shesterkin.
The Rangers opened the scoring at 15:46 of the first. Artemi Panarin collected a rebound of his own shot and fed a wide-open Kakko for a one-timer in the low slot.
The Canadiens tied it at 2:17 of the second as Dvorak skated the puck from behind the net and lifted a shot off Shesterkin’s pads before he could secure the post.
–Field Level Media