Alexis Lafreniere scored twice in regulation, including the tying goal late in regulation, and then got the only goal in the shootout as the host New York Rangers edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Sunday night.
Lafreniere helped New York extend its point streak to 10 games with a spectacular move in the third round of the shootout by cutting down the center of the ice and lifting a backhander in one motion over the glove of Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins.
Lafreniere tied the score with 11 seconds left in regulation off a wild sequence with the extra attacker from the right doorstep by tapping in a cross-ice feed from Chris Kreider after Merzlikins could not control the rebound of Artemi Panarin’s shot.
Kreider earlier scored his 10th goal and Panarin collected two assists to extend his point streak to a career-high 14 games. Panarin also matched Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert’s 1972-73 mark for the longest streak in team history to start a season.
New York’s Jonathan Quick made 25 saves before stopping Johnny Gaudreau, Patrik Laine and Alexandre Texier in the shootout.
Justin Danforth scored in the first period before rookie Adam Fantilli and Sean Kuraly tallied 19 seconds apart in the second for the Blue Jackets.
Merzlikins made 16 of his season-high 37 saves in the third when the Rangers outshot Columbus 17-3.
Danforth opened the scoring with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first by tipping in a shot from Erik Gudbrandson. Kreider tied it a little over two minutes later by finishing off a one-timer off a feed from Erik Gustafsson.
Lafreniere made it 2-1 11:17 into the second, but Fantilli capitalized on a Blake Wheeler miscue to tie it with 7:25 left. Kuraly gave the Blue Jackets the lead on the next shift when he crashed the net and scored into the open net while New York defenseman Zac Jones defended him from behind.
–Field Level Media
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