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Feb 9, 2024 11:32 pm

Rangers down Blackhawks on Mika Zibanejad’s OT goal

Rangers, Blackhawks

Mika Zibanejad scored at 2:37 of overtime and Chris Kreider had a goal and assist to boost the streaking New York Rangers to a 4-3 win against the host Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

New York overcame a shaky start and finish in goaltender Igor Shesterkin’s return to the lineup, winning for the fourth straight time while earning points for the sixth time in the past seven games.

Chicago picked up a point but lost for a season-worst sixth straight time this season. The Blackhawks tallied more than two goals for the first time since Jan. 19. Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson scored in the final 6:23 of regulation to tie the game.

Zibanejad tallied his eighth career OT winner, beating Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek with a wrist shot from the right circle.

Chicago opened the scoring just 2:39 into the game. Alex Vlasic gathered a deflection and wristed a shot past Shesterkin from the top of the left circle.

Strong net-front presence from MacKenzie Entwistle helped occupy Shesterkin, who was making his first start since Jan. 26. Jonathan Quick started the past three games in net before Friday as the Rangers allowed Shesterkin to rest and work through inconsistency.

Alexis Lafreniere tied the game just over two minutes after Vlasic’s goal, as LaFreniere one-timed a K’Andre Miller pass past Mrazek.

The Rangers capitalized on a strange sequence to take a 2-1 lead at 6:16 of the first period. Chicago’s Boris Katchouk broke a skate blade after blocking a shot, prompting teammate Isaak Phillips to push him off the ice.

It produced an odd-man rush for New York, with Kreider tapping in a pass from Adam Fox.

Jonny Brodzinski provided New York with a 3-1 lead at 9:02 of the second period, and it looked like the advantage would hold up before the Blackhawks broke through down the stretch.

Shesterkin made 28 saves. Mrazek had 31.

Fox had two assists for the Rangers, while Philipp Kurashev had two for the Blackhawks.

New York secured a sweep of the season series against Chicago after earning a 4-1 home victory on Jan. 4. The Rangers have won seven of their past eight against Chicago.

–Field Level Media

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