Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves for the New York Rangers and won his fifth consecutive game, a 6-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday.
Shesterkin (7-1-0, 2.28 goals-against average, .939 save percentage) returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury to become the fifth different Rangers rookie goalie to win at least five straight regular-season games. Dan Blackburn was the last to do so in 2001-02.
Artemi Panarin scored to reach 30 goals for the third time in his NHL career. The forward is the first skater to score his first 30 regular-season goals with the Rangers in 58 games or fewer since Marian Gaborik (30 goals in 53 games) on Jan. 30, 2010. Panarin is one goal from tying his NHL career-high of 31, set with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016-17.
The Rangers (31-24-4) has won five of six and are six points behind the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They've also won six in a row on the road, one shy of their record of 7-0-0 from Jan. 12-Feb. 12, 1935 and Oct. 28-Nov. 29, 1978.
Kane ties LaFontaine in points among U.S.-born players
Forward Patrick Kane had one assist for the Blackhawks to earn his 1,013th regular-season point and tie Pat LaFontaine for eighth in NHL history among United States-born players.
Chicago forward Dominik Kubalik scored twice and leads NHL rookies with 25 goals, six ahead of Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson. Kubalik is the eighth first-year player in Blackhawks history to score at least 25 goals in one season and third to do so in the past five (Panarin, 30, 2015-16; forward Alex DeBrincat, 28, 2017-18).
Despite the accomplishments of Kane and Kubalik, the Blackhawks (26-26-8) are 2-6-2 in their past 10 games and trail the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes by eight points for the first wild card from the West.
Pastrnak ties Matthews for NHL goal-scoring lead
Forward David Pastrnak scored his 43rd goal 1:14 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place and tie Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for the NHL lead.
The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins (38-11-12) have won four in a row, are 10-1-0 in their past 11 games and are three points ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning (40-15-5).
Ovechkin back home with Capitals to pursue No. 700
Alex Ovechkin will get another chance to score his 700th NHL goal when the Washington Capitals host the Montreal Canadiens at Capital One Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSWA, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV).
The forward is two goals from becoming the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700.
Ovechkin has not scored in a season-high five games and the Capitals (37-17-5) have lost four of five to fall to second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (37-15-6).
Ovechkin has scored 32 regular-season goals in 49 games against the Canadiens, including 21 against goalie Carey Price, the fourth-most against any NHL goalie behind Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers (24), Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights (24) and Kari Lehtonen (22).
Lightning go for 12th consecutive victory
The Lightning will try to extend the longest winning streak in their history to 12 games when they visit the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, ATTSN-RM, SUN, NHL.TV). Tampa Bay has also won six straight on the road, one shy of its record of seven set from Jan. 7-Feb. 1, 2007.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has won eight straight games and is 19-0-2 with a 1.98 GAA, .934 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 21 games since Dec. 17. He can become the fourth NHL goalie with at least one point in at least 22 consecutive regular-season games.
Lightning center Brayden Point enters the game on an NHL career-high 11-game point streak (15 points; three goals, 12 assists), the longest active run in the League.