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Zibanejad scores in overtime, Rangers beat Blackhawks for fourth straight win


CHICAGO (AP) — The New York Rangers needed a big play after they struggled in the third period.

It was Mika Zibanejad time.

Zibanejad set a franchise record with his eighth career overtime goal, and the Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

New York had a 3-on-2 rush after Chicago forward Jason Dickinson was knocked down in the Blackhawks’ offensive zone. Chris Kreider then set up Zibanejad in the right circle, and he beat Petr Mrazek high on the glove side for his 16th goal 2:37 into OT.

“(Krieder) makes an unbelievable play, freezes the goalie and the defender,” Zibanejad said. “Tried to get it on net and it went in, so I was relieved.”

Zibanejad had been tied with Brian Leetch, Cecil Dillon and Butch Keeling for most overtime goals in Rangers history.

Kreider, Alexis Lafreniere and Jonny Brodzinski also scored for New York, which carried a 3-1 lead into the third. The Rangers went 0 for 3 with the man advantage, running their streak of empty power plays to 14 in a row over their last six games. 

“It was not one of our better efforts,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We walk away with the two points. … We’ll fix some things and we’ll be better next game.” 

Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves for the Rangers in his first start since Jan. 26. The All-Star goaltender went 4-5-1 with an .863 save percentage in his previous 10 games.

“He played well tonight,” Zibanejad said. “We can do a better job of helping him out.”

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Nick Foligno, Jason Dickinson and Alex Vlasic scored for Chicago in its sixth consecutive loss. Mrazek made 31 stops.

Foligno started the third-period rally when he stuffed in a rebound at 13:37, and Dickinson tied it at 3 when he tipped home Seth Jones’ shot with 1:02 remaining. It was No. 11 for Foligno and a team-high 16th goal for Dickinson.

The Blackhawks outshot the Rangers 12-4 in the third period.

“We’ve been kind of on this for maybe over a month now that I’ve been very happy with the work ethic,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “We haven’t gotten the results most nights, but I think we’re inching closer every time.”

Chicago opened the scoring when Vlasic beat a screened Shesterkin from beyond the left circle 2:39 into the first. But Lafreniere responded for New York at 4:49, knocking home a slick setup by K’Andre Miller.

Lafreniere has three goals in his last four games and 14 on the season. The 22-year-old forward scored 16 goals in 81 games last year.

The Rangers then turned a bad break for the Blackhawks into a tiebreaking score.

Chicago forward Boris Katchouk lost a blade on a skate when he blocked a shot and was pushed to the bench by defenceman Isaak Phillips. That turned into a 2-on-1 rush for New York, and Kreider redirected Adam Fox’s pass into the goal at 6:16 for his 24th on the season.

New York opened a 3-1 lead 9:02 into the second. Brodzinski jumped on a loose puck in front for his third goal in four games and No. 4 on the season.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Host the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Blackhawks: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

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