Zibanejad, Rangers recover, defeat Devils for four-game sweep


NEWARK, N.J. Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal late in the third period on his 28th birthday, and the New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3 at Prudential Center on Sunday.

Zibanejad scored on a wrist shot from the high slot at 17:00 of the third period to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead. New York (23-16-6) is 5-0-1 in its past six games. New York went 4-0-0 in the four-game set against New Jersey and 6-2-0 in the season series against its rival.

The Devils (14-24-6) rallied from 3-0 down on goals by Mikhail Maltsev, Marian Studenic and Nico Hischier but lost their sixth game in a row in regulation. Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves.

Alexandar Georgiev made 10 saves on 10 shots for the Rangers but was helped off the ice after making a save at 17:41 of the first period. Igor Shesterkin made two saves on two shots in 2:19 of relief; Georgiev returned in the second period and finished with 25 saves.

The Rangers are fifth in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, four points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins, who have two games in hand. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Chris Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal on a tip-in at the left post at 6:31 of the first period.

Kravtsov made it 2-0 with his first NHL goal at 14:03 into the first. 

Alexis Lafreniere scored on a backhand from the slot after using his right skate to kick the puck onto his stick to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead at 5:17 of the second period.

Maltsev scored on a backhand from the slot to pull the Devils within 3-1 at 18:55 of the second.

Studenic scored his first NHL goal to make it 3-2 at 1:53 of the third period.

Hischier scored for a 3-3 tie on a snap shot from the high slot at 5:30 of the third for the Devils. New Jersey forward Nolan Foote had an assist in his NHL debut.

Ryan Strome scored an empty-net goal at 19:35 of the third to complete the scoring for the Rangers.

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