Not only did Chris Kreider score his second game-winning goal to give the Rangers at least a point in their shootout loss to the Wild on Saturday night, but the longest-tenured Blueshirt also surpassed Andy Bathgate for the fourth-most goals in franchise history, according to proceedings .
Kreider, stationed in his office in front of the opposing team’s net, used a stick to deflect a shot from Artemi Panarin at the top of the zone to tie Saturday’s game at four-all and ultimately force overtime.
“That was great of Chris,” said Vincent Trocheck. “He does what he does best.”
Of the team-leading eight goals Kreider scored this season, five came on the power play and several came at crucial points in the game.
There was the starting signal in the power play against the Flames and the game-winning goal against Winnipeg.
Kreider was also the leading scorer twice for the Rangers, against the Hurricanes and Coyotes, and recorded a multi-goal game against the Sabers on power play and short-handed tallies in the season opener.
Kreider is now just seven goals away from tying Adam Graves for third place on the Rangers’ all-time goalscoring list (273).
That’s a feat likely to be achieved this season as the Rangers prepare for their 12th game of the season on Tuesday against Detroit.
“It’s impressive,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of Kreider’s franchise performance. “The New York Rangers have been around for a long time. For him to climb this ladder like that shows what kind of player he is.”
The Zac Jones-Braden Schneider pairing had another tough night on Saturday, as the duo was on the ice for a clean sheet, finishing 10-3 and missing dangerous chances for a 7-1 lead.
Clearing the puck after extended periods in the defensive zone was a problem for these two all evening.
With goaltender Louis Domingue, center Jonny Brodzinski and defenseman Connor Mackey returning to AHL Hartford on Sunday, the Rangers have begun to acquire key cap space again ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.
Artemi Panarin’s 11-game point streak gave Darren Turcotte the second-longest streak in Rangers history, behind only Rod Gilbert (14 games in 1972–73). The streak is also the third longest of Panarin’s career.
The Rangers had Sunday off and are scheduled to return to the ice for practice Monday at the MSG Training Center.