Chris Kreider is making up for lost time. Over his first 15 games this season, he was limited to four goals and five points. Since then though, he’s contributed nine goals and 10 points in six contests. He kept that incredible run going on Thursday when he scored his second hat trick in a little over a week. This time around it was against New Jersey and helped power the Rangers to a 6-1 win over them.
Unsurprisingly, Kreider’s hot streak has corresponded with the Rangers’ fortunes improving. New York has won four of its last six games and they’ve climbed to 9-9-3 after hitting lows of 1-4-1 and 4-7-3. It would be tough for the Rangers to make the playoffs in the East, which features Washington, the Islanders, Philadelphia, Boston, and Pittsburgh ahead of them, but the Rangers are certainly a fun team to watch.
They have some talented veterans. Some of whom, like Mika Zibanejad, have underperformed and are due for a breakout like the one Kreider is now experiencing. The Rangers also feature some of the league’s most promising youngsters like Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. Neither has been a major contributor so far this season, but Lafreniere has been finding his groove recently and Kakko is worth keeping an eye on.
That all being said, the Rangers do have something to worry about right now. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin left Thursday’s contest with a lower-body injury. There wasn’t much of an update following the game, so it remains to be seen if that injury is serious. He’s been one of the league’s top rookies and losing him for any significant stretch of time would be a big blow for the Rangers. The timing is particularly unfortunate too because the Rangers are set to play three games in four days starting on Saturday, so it would be a bit much to ask Alexandar Georgiev to be in net for all three of those contests.
NY ISLANDERS 5 BUFFALO 2
Matt Martin scored twice for the Islanders. He’s up to four goals and six points in 23 contests this season.
Jordan Eberle contributed a goal and an assist. The Islanders forward is up to nine goals and 14 points in 23 games.
Ilya Sorokin stopped 16 of 18 shots on Thursday. He’s won three straight starts, boosting his record to 3-2-1.
One of Buffalo’s two goals was scored by Rasmus Ristolainen. He has three goals and eight points in 14 games.
Jonas Johansson saved 40 of 45 Islanders shots. He faced a staggering 18 shots in the first period and allowed two goals over that span.
NY RANGERS 6 NEW JERSEY 1
Chris Kreider led the charge for the Rangers with a hat trick. He has 13 goals and 15 points in 21 contests.
Alexis Lafreniere had a goal and an assist for the Rangers. He’s up to four goals and seven points in 21 games.
It wasn’t all good news for the Rangers though. Igor Shesterkin left the game late in the third period because a lower-body injury. He saved 32 of 33 shots before his night ended. Alexandar Georgiev stepped in and stopped the Devils’ final three shots.
The Devils’ goal was scored by Jack Hughes. It was his fifth goal and 13th point in 19 contests.
CAROLINA 5 DETROIT 2
Both of Detroit’s goals were scored by Filip Zadina. He’s up to three goals and eight point in 19 games.
Jordan Staal scored the game-winning goal and registered two assists. That gives him eight goals and 20 points in 21 contests.
Nino Niederreiter contributed a goal and an assist for Carolina. He has 10 goals and 15 points in 23 games.
Alex Nedeljkovic saved 33 of 35 Red Wings shots. He has a 4-2-1 record, 2.26 GAA, and .927 save percentage in seven starts.
At the other end of the ice, Jonathan Bernier stopped 27 of 31 shots. He’s 6-5-0 with a 2.94 GAA and .910 save percentage in 13 games.
PHILADELPHIA 4 PITTSBURGH 3
Brian Elliott kicked out 26 of 29 Penguins shots. All three of the goals he allowed came in the first 3:57 minutes of the contest.
Jared McCann completed the Penguins’ early rally, giving them a 3-0 lead. It was his fourth goal and eighth point in 15 games.
Sean Couturier netted a power-play goal at 11:32 of the first period. That put the Flyers on the board and started their gradual comeback.
Claude Giroux scored two goals, including the game winner, and registered an assist. That gives him three goals and 17 points in 18 contests.
Tristan Jarry stopped 31 of 35 shots last night. He’s allowed at least three goals in three of his last four games.
WINNIPEG 4 MONTREAL 3 (OT)
Paul Stastny scored a pair of goals for the Jets. He’s up to seven goals and 14 points in 23 contests.
Pierre-Luc Dubois netted the overtime winner. He has five goals and seven points in 13 games.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 of 36 Canadiens shots. He has an 11-6-1 record, 2.60 GAA, and .915 save percentage in 18 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Jake Allen saved 23 of 27 shots. He’s 4-2-3 with a 2.31 GAA and .921 save percentage in nine starts.
Corey Perry scored a goal and registered an assist for Montreal. That gives him three goals and eight points in 15 games.
Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our NHL Season Tools that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don't forget to use promo code PUCK10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
TAMPA BAY 3 CHICAGO 2 (OT)
Alex Killorn scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. He has four goals and 12 points in 21 games.
Steven Stamkos also chipped in a goal for the Lightning. That gives him 11 goals and 21 points in 19 contests.
One of Chicago’s two goals was scored by Alex DeBrincat. It was his 12th goal and 26th point in 20 games.
Kevin Lankinen kicked out 31 of 34 Lightning shots. He actually had a shutout going until the third period, but he allowed two goals on 12 shots in the third frame.
At the other end of the ice, Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 35 of 37 shots. He’s 14-3-1 with a 1.66 GAA and .942 save percentage in 18 starts.
FLORIDA 5 NASHVILLE 4
Aaron Ekblad stood out for the Panthers with two goals and two assists. That gives him eight goals and 15 points in 22 contests.
Three of Florida’s five goals were assisted on by Aleksander Barkov. He has eight goals and 25 points in 22 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 31 of 35 shots last night. He has a 7-2-2 record, 3.11 GAA, and .897 save percentage in 11 starts.
Filip Forsberg contributed a goal and two assists for the Predators. He’s up to 10 goals and 22 points in 23 games.
Pekka Rinne stopped 33 of 38 Panthers shots. He’s lost three straight games and has allowed 10 goals over that span.
COLUMBUS 3 DALLAS 2
Eric Robinson scored the game-winning goal. It was his fourth goal and eighth point in 25 games.
Boone Jenner netted a goal and registered an assist for Columbus. He has eight goals and 15 points in 25 games.
Miro Heiskanen found the back of the net for Dallas. He has a goal and 10 points in 18 contests.
Anton Khudobin saved 19 of 22 shots on Thursday. He allowed two goals on eight shots in the third period.
At the other end of the ice, Joonas Korpisalo stopped 22 of 24 shots. He’s 7-7-4 with a 3.07 GAA and .897 save percentage in 19 games.
CALGARY 7 OTTAWA 3
Josh Norris scored a goal and registered an assist. The Senators forward has five goals and 15 points in 26 contests.
Dillon Dube led the Flames with a hat trick. He’s up to six goals and 10 points in 21 games.
David Rittich saved 29 of 32 Senators shots. He has a 3-5-1 record, 2.93 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 11 games.
VANCOUVER 3 TORONTO 1
The Maple Leafs’ only goal was scored by Pierre Engvall. He has two markers and five points in 16 games.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 25 of 28 Canucks shots. He has a 3-2-0 record, 2.03 GAA, and .934 save percentage in five starts.
At the other end of the ice, Thatcher Demko turned aside 31 of 32 shots. He improved to 6-9-1 with a 2.92 GAA and .911 save percentage in 16 starts.
Jake Virtanen scored two goals, including the game winner. He has three goals and points in 22 games.
Bo Horvat accounted for Vancouver’s other goal. He’s up to 10 goals and 17 points in 27 contests.