Mika Zibanejad scored twice in the first period, added two assists and tied a career high with four points as the New York Rangers extended their home winning streak over the Carolina Hurricanes to 16 games with a 6-2 victory on Tuesday.
Zibanejad recorded his 10th career two-goal game and second of the season by scoring twice in a span of 1:41 in the first period to put New York ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes.
He scored his first goal during a power play by tapping Chris Kreider’s cross-ice pass through the high slot into the vacated right side of the net with 7:19 remaining to make it 2-1. Zibanejad gave the Rangers a two-goal lead with 5:38 left when he converted Mats Zuccarello’s pass from behind the net through Jaccob Slavin’s legs.
Zibanejad also had the primary assists on Pavel Buchnevich’s two power-play goals and recorded his fourth career four-point game. Three of Zibanejad’s four-point games are this season and he is the first Rangers player to accomplish the feat since Marian Gaborik in the 2010-11 season.
Buchnevich recorded his second career two-goal game by scoring early in the second and third periods as the Rangers set a season high for goals.
Zuccarello tied a career high with three assists and defenseman Tony DeAngelo also scored twice for the Rangers, whose home winning streak over Carolina is the longest in team history against any opponent.
It was the first time the Rangers had three players with multi-goal games since Dec. 22, 1996, against the Florida Panthers when Mark Messier, Alexei Kovalev and Niklas Sundstrom achieved the feat.
Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves and helped the Rangers win for the second time in their last eight games.
Saku Maenalanen recorded his first career two-goal game for the Hurricanes, who last won at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 29, 2010. Carolina also lost for only the second time in its last nine games.
Carolina’s Curtis McElhinney lost for the first time in five starts and allowed a season-high six goals on 28 shots.
The Rangers went ahead 76 seconds into the game when DeAngelo’s shot from near the blue line sailed through traffic and over McElhinney’s left shoulder.
The Hurricanes tied it with 10:36 remaining by pouncing on a New York turnover. Maenalanen gained possession and lifted a wrist shot over Lundqvist’s stick.