Rangers tie franchise record with 53rd win of the season as they defeat the Canadiens

Apr 7, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) and New York
Apr 7, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) and New York / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York has tied franchise history. Win number 53 on the year sees them tie franchise history. New York gets four points from Artemi Panarin, who is eight back of Jaromir Jagr's single-season record with four games to go. The chase is on for both player and franchise as the Rangers close in on the top spot in the NHL. Not a great game, but it was a win. Winning ugly is better than not winning at all.

Montreal would get the lead on a bad bounce from the Blueshirts' perspective. A point shot went well across the net, but it was enough to pull Igor Shesterkin off his post. Cole Caufield went for the ambitious and tried to bank it off the back of Igor, but he was up to the task. However, Caufield attempted to knock the rebound back into the low slot for a teammate, and it hit the back of Igor and went in. A bounce saw the Rangers enter the first intermission behind.

New York's powerplay would tie this game up at one. A faceoff win would get the puck back to the point where the shot was deflected. It bounced towards the corner where Mika Zibanejad could grab the puck and shoot it home. If he had missed, Chris Kreider was in his office in front to clean up anything, but the Rangers had life in this one. They were looking for more from this game

Once again, on the powerplay, the Rangers would strike to take the lead tonight. Artemi Panarin got the puck at the point and let a shot fly. It was on target, meaning Cayden Primeau had to account for it, but there was a Ranger in front to tip it home. Who else but Chris Kreider is operating from his office to get it over the line and move cleanly into second in franchise history in powerplay goals?

New York would strike again, and it would be the second line to put the dagger into the Canadiens tonight. Braden Schneider holds off a checker and gets the puck to Panarin, who blasts up the ice. Panarin gives it to Alexis Lafreniere, who slides it in behind the defense back to Panarin. The breadman couldn't miss, and the Rangers were comfortable with their lead tonight. A multiple-goal lead with 13 minutes to go should be an automatic two points for the Blueshirts.

Montreal would get one back when a beautiful pass from Mike Matheson cut through the Rangers' defense. Alex Newhook got behind Adam Fox and turned to face Igor Shesterkin one-on-one. Igor was unable to stop Newhook from grabbing goal number 13 on the year, but suddenly, the Canadiens had the momentum, and the Garden had fallen silent. Could the Blueshirts hold on, or would the Canadiens tie the game up?

New York would reestablish the two-goal lead with three minutes to go in the game. On a double shift, Jimmy Vesey would force a turnover along the boards as he beat Josh Anderson to a loose puck. He sent it toward the net, where Mika Zibanejad could gather it in and rip it home for his second goal of the game. New York was comfortable, so the Blueshirts needed to shut the door for 184 seconds.

Alexis Lafreniere hit the empty net to seal the win tonight, and the Rangers got to enjoy the win. Meanwhile, the Blueshirts moved closer to mathematically sealing the division title, clinching the President's trophy, and home ice across the league. Artemi Panarin got his fourth point of the night, and the Blueshirts tied the franchise record for most wins in a season with 53. What a year it has been.