Zibanejad’s shootout winner helps Rangers snap two-game skid, top Canadiens

MONTREAL — Mika Zibanejad scored the shootout winner to lift the New York Rangers to a 4-3 comeback victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Patrick Kane scored his first goal as a Ranger, while Alexis Lafreniere and Jacob Trouba added the others in regulation for New York (36-19-9). Artemi Panarin collected three assists.

Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves as the Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak.

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Kaiden Guhle, Alex Belzile and Josh Anderson scored for Montreal (26-33-6), which has dropped five in a row.

Sam Montembeault stopped 30 shots.

Guhle broke the ice 35 seconds into the game when he batted home a loose puck floating in mid-air.

He then took a slashing penalty, allowing the Rangers to level the score at 3:16 of the first period. Lafreniere tipped Adam Fox’s point shot for his fourth goal in the last five games.

The Canadiens regained the lead when Belzile beat Shesterkin with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 17:02. The 31-year-old bagged his fourth goal of the season and his third in as many games.

Trouba tied the game 48 seconds into the second period when his wrister from the right faceoff circle beat Montembeault glove side.

Anderson restored the Canadiens’ edge with a short-handed goal at 13:20 of the second.

Chris Tierney stole the puck from Kane in the defensive zone and skated away on the rush, drawing two players to his side before sending a saucer pass for Anderson, who bagged his 19th of the season.

Kane responded on the very same power play at 14:31 with a swift wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Montembeault over his left pad.

In overtime, Fox took a holding penalty with 1:27 remaining. Montreal’s Rafael Harvey-Pinard redirected a shot from Mike Hoffman on the power play but it ringed off the crossbar and left the game tied.

Montreal failed to score on all three shootout attempts, while Zibanejad netted the lone marker.


Panarin recorded his seventh 70-point season in his first eight campaigns. He became only the third undrafted player to reach the milestone, along with Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny.


NHL referee Marc Joanette oversaw his 1,500th career game. The native of Verdun, Que., was presented with personalized Canadiens and Rangers jerseys by coaches Martin St. Louis and Gerard Gallant. Joanette was also honoured by the Canadiens during a television timeout in the first period.


The Canadiens welcome the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

The Rangers will travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Saturday.

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