NEW YORK (AP) Chris Kreider scored a hat trick, Adam Fox had four assists and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves as the New York Rangers downed the Montreal Canadiens 7-4 on Thursday to match a season best with their sixth straight victory.

Mika Zibanejad added a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who also got goals from Will Cuylle, Vincent Trocheck and Kaapo Kakko. Artemi Panarin added three assists.

The Rangers, who equaled their season high for goals, scored four times in 4:10 during the second period after Montreal took a 1-0 lead in the first.

“We came out in the second with a bit of fire and a bit more jam,'' Fox said. ”A lot of the shots on net. We got some goals from that."

Cole Caufield had two goals for Montreal, which has lost three of four. Jake Evans and Juraj Slafkovsky also scored for the Canadiens.

The 38-year-old Quick became the oldest goaltender in Rangers history with a four-game winning streak. He is 13-4-2 overall this season, and the victory moved him within one of tying Dominik Hasek for 15th place in NHL history (389). Quick is three wins from tying Ryan Miller for most among American-born goaltenders at 391.

The Rangers are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and 5-0-0 in February coming out of the All-Star break. They lead the Metropolitan Division by eight points, equaling a season high. Second-place Carolina has two games in hand.

Evans opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season, beating Quick at 14:29 of the first.

Kreider tied it at 11:09 of the second. Shortly after he was denied on a breakaway by Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault, Kreider rifled the puck into the Montreal net. Zibanejad and Jacob Trouba assisted.

Cuylle put the home team ahead 2-1 with his 10th goal at 12:27. Fox and Ryan Lindgren assisted.

Zibanejad then extended the lead at 14:43 with a short-handed goal. Fox and Panarin assisted as Zibanejad fired his 17th goal of the season past Montembault before Kreider made it 4-1 on the power play at 15:19 with his second goal of the night.

“We weren’t happy with the first," Zibanejad said. ”We needed to do something different in the second. ... You have those momentum swings. Today we capitalized on our momentum swing."

Slafkovksy narrowed the deficit to 4-2 with his 12th goal at 16:30 of the second.

Trocheck added his 16th at 4:23 of the third to restore the three-goal lead before Caufield scored on the power play at 6:53 to make it 5-3.

Kreider completed his sixth career hat trick and first this season with his 27th goal at 7:59, with assists to Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey. The 32-year-old forward has 292 career goals, third on the Rangers list behind Rod Gilbert (406) and Jean Ratelle (336).

“Mika, Foxy and Kreids, they really picked it up,'' Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. ”Those guys had big nights for us."

Kakko increased the lead to 7-3 with his sixth at 9:56 before Caufield scored his second of the game and 19th of the season at 11:27.

“They are a good team. They are a deep, veteran team. They know what to do,'' Caufield said. ”It was a good first period but we have to play a full 60 minutes. There's no excuse for that."

Rangers forward Blake Wheeler injured his right leg midway through the first period and had to be helped off the ice. He was ruled out for the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.


Rangers: Face the rival New York Islanders for the first time this season in an outdoor game Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.

Canadiens: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.