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game recap

Rangers edge Oilers on late goal

Rick Nash scores with 1:21 left in third period for victory

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Rick Nash knows he has to get to the front of the net to score goals. He did it late in the third period Thursday and cashed in with a big one.

Nash scored from the slot with 1:21 remaining to lift the New York Rangers to a 5-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers (8-3-0) trailed by one goal three times but got their third straight win and sixth in the past seven games.

The Rangers have scored 16 goals in the past three games. They lead the NHL with 45 goals.

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Rangers highlights

 

"The last few games we played some really good teams," Nash said. "It shows a lot when you go down three times and you come back every time."

Nash scored because he parked himself in front of the net and got the puck after Milan Lucic blocked the point shot from defenseman Nick Holden. The puck fell at Nash's feet, he got it on his forehand, turned and beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot (26 saves) for his sixth goal of the season and 399th of his NHL career.

J.T. Miller added an empty-net goal to make it 5-3. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves.

"I know when I'm good I'm getting on the inside, taking pucks to the net," Nash said. "Around the net, that's where I usually score most of my goals. You go to the hard areas and you'll score. More than half my goals this year come from right in front so I know what I've got to do."

New York's third line of Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner and Miller stayed hot. They all scored and combined for four assists, including two for Hayes. They have combined for eight goals and 10 assists in the past three games.

Video: EDM@NYR: Grabner reaches to net bouncing puck

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault used that line often against the Oilers' top two lines, especially in the third period.

"They were playing well," Vigneault said. "They were protecting the puck. They were making the right plays against a team that had a lot of back pressure in that neutral zone and their 'D' staying up. They played a real strong game. I played them good portions of the game against their top two lines and I thought they did a real good job for us."

Edmonton (7-3-1), winless in three straight games (0-2-1), got goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the first period, Patrick Maroon in the second and Adam Larsson in the third. However, the Rangers needed more than two minutes once to score the tying goal.

Larsson put the Oilers up 3-2 at 8:49 of the third, but Jesper Fast scored 42 seconds later to tie it.

"I thought once we got that third one we were going to take over and close it out, but they're a resilient team and we knew that," Talbot said. "We gave them too many opportunities in front of the net and they made us pay."

Video: EDM@NYR: Fast finds the net with nice deflection

 

Goal of the game

Hayes tied the game 1-1 at 8:34 of the first because of a tape-to-tape pass through the slot by Grabner. Hayes got it below the right circle and sent a shot past Talbot.

Video: EDM@NYR: Grabner sets up Hayes with nice no-look pass

 

Save of the game

With Edmonton leading 1-0, rookie forward Jesse Puljujarvi knifed through the Rangers defense to get in alone on Lundqvist before shooting from between the circles. Lundqvist snagged it at 7:35. Hayes scored 59 seconds later.

Video: EDM@NYR: Lundqvist denies Puljujarvi's quick rush

 

Highlight of the game

Nash moved within one goal of 400 by scoring the winner from in front. The puck dropped at his feet, he got it on his forehand, turned and beat Talbot on the stick side.

Video: EDM@NYR: Nash slides in deflected puck for late lead

 

Unsung moment of the game

Forward Mats Zuccarello, at 5-foot-7, 179 pounds, had a heavy forecheck on Oilers defenseman Matthew Benning to jar the puck free behind the goal line, a play that helped set up Nash's game-winning goal.

 

They said it

"We know we have the skill to put the puck in the net if we do give up one. Stuff is going to happen in the course of 60 minutes but I think we're doing a good job of being resilient, knowing we have a chance in any game really." -- Rangers forward J.T. Miller

 

"We've got to play all 60 minutes. We made mistakes a couple of times around our net, letting them get loose and having second and third opportunities. That probably cost us the night. So it's a lesson learned. Obviously we've got a focus of an area where we have to get better." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan

 

Video: EDM@NYR: Gretzky watches Rangers and Oilers face off

 

Need to know

New York's plus-20 goal differential (45-25) is the best through the first 11 games of a season in Rangers history. … New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh's consecutive games with an assist streak ended at eight. … Edmonton's top line of Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle and Lucic was a combined minus-10.

 

What's next

Oilers: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, NESN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Rangers top Oilers after back-and-forth tilt, 5-3

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