Rangers rout Devils 6-1 as Nash nets his 42nd goal
Rick Nash scored his career-best 42nd goal, Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves and New York Rangers moved closer to securing homeice advantage for the playoffs with a 6-1 victory Saturday over the New Jersey Devils.
Keith Yandle and Dominic Moore scored 25 seconds apart to cap a big three-goal first period, Derek Stepan added a short-handed goal in the second and Derick Brassard and Moore tallied in the third.
It was the Rangers’ third straight win. They’re tied with Anaheim for the most points in the league — 107 — and are three ahead of Montreal and Tampa Bay in the race for the best mark in the Eastern Conference.
While Nash started outburst early, Lundqvist was exceptional throughout. Playing for the fourth time since returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for almost two months, Lundqvist withstood an early push by the Devils and made at least a half-dozen saves.
New Jersey didn’t score until Tuomo Ruutu tallied with 3:30 to play.
Nash gave the Rangers the lead about 5 minutes after the opening faceoff, deflecting a Mats Zuccarello pass past Devils goalie Cory Schneider, who was replaced by Keith Kinkaid after giving up three goals on six shots.
Nick Foligno scored three times and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 to set a franchise record with their ninth consecutive win.
It was Foligno’s first hat trick in his 541st career NHL game.
Matt Calvert and Scott Hartnell also scored, Brandon Dubinsky assisted on all three of Foligno’s goals, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves as the Blue Jackets won for the 11th time in 13 games. Marko Dano added two assists.
Columbus, already eliminated from postseason contention, scored four consecutive goals after trailing 2-0 late in the second period.
Sidney Crosby, Brandon Sutter and Ben Lovejoy scored for the Penguins, just 3-7-1 in their last 11 games and still not assured of a playoff berth. Ian Cole had two assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves.
Kyle Turris scored on a breakaway at 3:14 of overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Washing- ton Capitals 4-3.
Turris stripped the puck away inside his own blue line before racing down the ice and beating Braden Holtby through his legs.
Clark MacArthur, Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad had firstperiod goals for the Senators, who remain in contention for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa is three points back for the final wild-card spot.
Lee Stempniak scored twice and Mathieu Perreault had three assists and the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4, to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Jim Slater, Michael Frolik and Mark Scheifele also scored for Winnipeg.
Alexandre Burrows had a pair of goals for Vancouver, Daniel Sedin added a goal and two assists and Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist.
Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves for the Jets, and Eddie Lack stopped 31 of 36 shots he faced for the Canucks.
Elsewhere, Darren Helm scored in the eighth round of a shootout, and the Detroit Red Wings outlasted the Minnesota Wild 3-2 and Cody Eakin scored on his first career penalty shot in overtime, and the Dallas Stars kept their faint playoff hopes alive by beating the Nashville Predators 4-3.
Also Saturday, the New York Islanders earned a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 4-0, the Arizona Coyotes topped the San Jose Sharks 5-3 and the Calgary Flames routed the Edmonton Oilers 4-0.