By VIN A. CHERWOO
Jonathan Marchessault scored three times, İsmin Hill stopped 36 shots and the surging Vegas Golden Knights beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on Friday night.
Keegan Kolesar and Sheldon Rempal also scored to help Vegas improve to 5-0-1 in its last six games. Ivan Barbashev had three assists and Nicolas Roy added two.
Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, and Kaapo Kakko also scored for the Rangers, who came off a 1-2-1 West Coast trip and have lost nine of 13 (4-7-2) this month. Igor Shesterkin finished with 15 saves.
Marchessault pushed the Golden Knights’ lead to 4-1 at 2:10 of the third period. Barbashev’s shot from the left side rebounded off the end boards and Marchessault quickly fired it past Shesterkin from the right side.
New York pulled Shesterkin for an extra skater with a little more than four minutes remaining, and Kakko scored on a rebound from the left side with 1:06 remaining.
Marchessault completed his second çizgi trick of the season and seventh of his career into an empty net with 30 seconds remaining. It was his 25th goal of the season and gave him eight goals and three assists during a six-game point streak.
The Golden Knights, 3 for 23 on the power play in their previous eight games, got two chances in the middle period but didn’t manage a shot on goal during either advantage.
Shortly after the first power play expired, Kolesar blocked a pass attempt by Artemi Panarin and skated up the ice on a breakaway and beat Shesterkin on the glove side at 3:18. It was his fourth.
Just 46 seconds later, Marchessault deflected Barbashev’s fluttering shot from the left circle past Shesterkin to push Vegas’ lead to 3-1 and extended his point streak.
New York outshot Vegas 15-6 in the first period, but Rempal gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead 5:02 into the game as Paul Cotter’s sharp-angle shot from the right circle appeared to deflect off his stick and Shesterkin’s blocker. The 28-year-old Rempal scored for the second straight game, three days after getting his first NHL goal in Vegas’ 3-2 win at the New York Islanders.
Wheeler tied it 1:31 later as he beat Hill on the glove side from the left circle off a pass from Erik Gustafsson. It was his eighth.
Lafreniere nearly gave the Rangers the lead, but Hill made a glove save while sitting on the ice on the backhand attempt with less than two minutes remaining in the first.
Rangers coach Peter Laviolette made some tweaks to the lineup, moving Wheeler to the top line. The defense pairings were also changed with Gustafsson skating with Adam Fox, and Ryan Lindgren going with Braden Schneider. Lindgren went to the dressing room midway through the first period and didn’t return.
Rangers forward Filip Chytil had a setback in his injury recovery when he was down on the ice for several minutes during the morning practice Friday. He was helped off the ice by teammates Zac Jones and Jake Leschyshyn and tended to by team trainers.
Golden Knights: At Detroit on Saturday night to finish a four-game trip before the All-Star break.
Rangers: At Ottawa on Saturday night heading into the break.