Panarin scores, Trocheck adds three assists as Rangers down Blackhawks
Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba and Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Rangers, who rebounded from Tuesday’s 6-1 home loss to Carolina and improved to 10-1-0 in games after a loss this season. Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves.
Former Ranger Colin Blackwell scored for Chicago, which lost its fourth straight and for the sixth time in seven games.
The Rangers have won six of their last seven meetings with the Blackhawks and New York improved to 12-3-1 against Western Conference opponents.
“Any team in the NHL can beat any other team,'' Trocheck said. ”You've got to be sure you don't lapse. We always want to focus on defense and our best games are when we are solid defensively."
Shesterkin had a relatively easy night’s work against the last-place Blackhawks as he improved to 16-8-0 and won for the sixth time in seven games.
Panarin, who played his first two NHL seasons for the Blackhawks, extended his points streak to six games and has points in 31 of the New York’s 37 games this season. He leads the Rangers with 53 points.
“Good win,'' Panarin said. "We’ll take that,″
Kreider made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 7:23 of the second. The puck deflected off Kreider’s skate into the Blackhawks net but was ruled not to be a distinct kicking motion since Kreider's skates didn't leave the ice and therefore a goal, Kreider’s 20th of the season. Kreider has a career-best points streak of eight games and the Rangers have scored a power-play goal in 10 of their last 12 games.
Kreider also reached the 20-goal mark for the ninth time. Only two players in Rangers history have recorded as many — Rod Gilbert with 12 seasons and Jean Ratelle, also with nine.
Blackwell narrowed the deficit to 2-1 at 17:03 of the second with his first goal of the season.
Trouba made it 3-1 with his third at 1:31 of the third period — with assists to Panarin and Trocheck — before Jimmy Vesey scored his eighth at 2:41.
Trocheck is second on the Rangers with 27 assists. Panarin has 29.
“There's extra emphasis on games after a loss,” Trocheck said. “We try to make adjustments to what we were doing wrong.”
When scoring four or more goals in a game, the Rangers are 16-0-1. His team's dominant performance pleased Rangers coach Peter Laviolette.
“I thought we did a good job," he said. "I thought our game was a lot cleaner and more consistent than the other night.”
Chicago rookie Connor Bedard, the top overall pick in last June’s draft, made his New York-area debut and was held off the scoresheet. The 18-year-old forward leads the Blackhawks with 15 goals and 33 points.
“We worked hard but had tough luck around the net,'' Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. ”At times we played well, but it wasn't enough. They are a powerful team."
The contest also marked the NHL debut of Rangers forward Brennan Othmann, the 16th overall pick in 2021, who was recalled from AHL Hartford on Wednesday. He had nine goals and 23 points in 28 games this season for Hartford. Othmann skated on line with Nick Bonino and Jonny Brodzinski and had five shots in 12;26 of ice time.
"It was exciting. I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the moment,'' said Othmann whose parents, grandparents and sister were at Madison Square Garden. ”I was a little nervous the first couple of shifts ... I think the chances I created were positive, and that's a good confidence builder going forward."
Rangers: At Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: At New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
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