Mika Zibanejad scored the game-winning goal into an empty net with 17 seconds remaining and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves and the host New York Rangers edged the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Zibanejad scored the game-winner when he intercepted a cross-ice pass by Patrick Kane. He scored his 15th goal and New York’s third unassisted goal of the game after Lundqvist made point-blank saves on Kane and Jonathan Toews in a span of 30 seconds after Chicago pulled goaltender Collin Delia for the extra attacker.
Zibanejad’s tally gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead and, with two seconds left, Chicago’s Dominik Kahun scored but it was too late.
Until the late goal by Kahun, Chris Kreider was set to get the game-winner after scoring an unassisted tally with 5:51 remaining in the second.
Filip Chytil and Mats Zuccarello scored first-period goals as the Rangers won for the third time in four games following a season-high five-game losing streak.
Lundqvist helped the Rangers snap a four-game losing streak to the Blackhawks and recorded his 445th career regular-season win, tying Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for sixth on the all-time list.
Brandon Saad and Alex DeBrincat scored power play goals for the Blackhawks, whose losing streak reached five games. Kane assisted on DeBrincat’s goal and extended his points streak to seven games but spent most of the night being shadowed by New York defenseman Marc Staal.
The Rangers gave up the first six shots of the game but overcame an early goal and ended the first period with a 2-1 lead.
Saad made it 1-0 5:41 into the game when he buried the rebound from the high slot into the vacated left side of the net after Artem Anisimov’s deflection attempt caromed off the post.
The Rangers scored twice in a span of 4:18 as Chytil finished off a rush down the right wing with his eighth goal. New York went ahead with 2:22 left when Zuccarello shoveled a loose puck into the net during a goalmouth scramble.
The Rangers took the two-goal lead when Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith coughed up the puck in the high slot in the Rangers’ offensive zone and Kreider scored from the left side of the crease.
Chicago made it a one-goal game early in the third when DeBrincat one-timed Kane’s cross-ice pass over Lundqvist’s left shoulder.