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Jan 16, 2024 9:44 pm

Blake Wheeler’s two goals power Rangers past Kraken

Blake Wheeler scored twice and as the host New York Rangers recorded a 5-2 victory over the short-handed Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

Vincent Trocheck, Erik Gustafsson and Kaapo Kakko also scored as the Rangers won their second straight following a season-high, four-game losing streak. Wheeler scored into an empty-net goal late in the third period for the second multi-goal game of his first season as a Ranger.

Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox each had two assists for New York, while Igor Shesterkin made 16 of his 28 saves in the second period en route to his second straight win.

Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann each had a power-play goal and an assist for Seattle, which dropped its second in a row following a team-record, nine-game winning streak. Besides playing without leading scorer Vince Dunn (undisclosed), the Kraken were missing Andre Burakovsky (lower body) and Matty Beniers (upper body).

Seattle goalie Chris Driedger allowed four goals on 22 shots.

Trocheck opened the scoring at 8:22 of the first period on a power play. He redirected the puck into the vacated right of the net after beating Alex Wennberg to the front of the crease and waiting for Artemi Panarin’s cross-ice pass from the left wing.

Seattle tied it a little over two minutes later on a power play. Following Trocheck’s neutral-zone turnover, Eberle sent a shot from between the faceoff circles over Shesterkin.

The Rangers regained the lead 28 seconds after Eberle scored thanks to a fortuitous bounce.

The Kraken tried to clear in front of their net, but the puck caromed off Seattle defenseman Will Borgen’s skate. With plenty of room in the high slot, Gustafsson sent a wrist shot that hopped over the skate of the Kraken’s Brandon Tanev and into the upper left corner of the net at 11:09. It was Gustafsson’s first goal in 32 games dating to early November.

Moments after Shesterkin made a point-blank stop on Justin Schultz’s second-period slap shot, New York’s Jonny Brodzinski took a shot from the right faceoff circle near the boards. Wheeler tipped it in after easily getting to the crease at 12:32 for a 3-1 lead.

Kakko scored in his second game back from a 21-game injury absence when he got a backhanded pass from Mike Zibanejad and lifted a shot over Driedger at 17:01 of the middle frame.

Seattle made it a two-goal game when McCann’s power-play backhander trickled off the crossbar and in with 5:36 left in the third.

Wheeler’s empty-netter capped the scoring at 17:22.

–Field Level Media

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