Rangers beat Sharks 3-2, stretch win streak to 3 games

Rangers beat Sharks 3-2, stretch win streak to 3 games
San Jose Sharks right wing Kevin Labanc (62) falls over New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jesper Fast scored twice, Igor Shesterkin made 44 saves and the New York Rangers won their third straight game, 3-2 over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Mika Zibanejad also scored and Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to eight games with two assists as the Rangers won for the seventh time in eight games.

Shesterkin made 40-plus saves for the fourth time in his 10th career start and extended his winning streak to seven games. The Russian rookie is 9-1 this season.

Joe Thornton scored twice, and Aaron Dell made 30 saves as the Sharks lost their third straight.

Fast gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 6:54 of the third period. Jacob Trouba’s shot from the right circle created a rebound and Fast floated a puck over Dell on his second opportunity from the side of the crease.

Fast scored his first goal of the game and 10th of the season to give the Rangers a one-goal lead. Panarin made a nifty deke, then slid a puck between Dell’s legs to set up Fast. Ryan Strome picked up the secondary assist and extended his career-high point streak to eight games.

Thornton evened the score at 1-all late in the first period, scoring on a slap shot at 17:55. Defenseman Brent Burns broke up an odd-man rush in the defensive zone before the game-tying goal. Timo Meier and Mario Ferraro assisted on the play.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead at 13:47 of the second after Burns’ slap shot from the point bounced off the Rangers goalie and then hit Thornton’s leg before sliding into the net. It was Thornton’s first multi-goal game since Feb. 18, 2019m when he recorded a hat trick against the Boston Bruins.

Zibanejad scored for the fourth consecutive game, tying the score at 2-2 late in the second period. Panarin knocked the puck away from Evander Kane and Zibanejad capitalized. It was Panarin’s 24th multi-point game this season.

In his first appearance at Madison Square Garden since being acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, Julien Gauthier had a penalty shot late in the second period after Jacob Middleton dragged him down on a breakaway. However, Dell denied Gauthier’s backhanded attempt.

NOTES: Kane returned to the Sharks lineup after serving a three-game suspension issued by the Department of Player Safety. … Melker Karlsson did not dress and is considered day to day. … San Jose scratched defenseman Nicolas Meloche and forward Antti Suomela. … Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did not start for the 10th straight game. … The Rangers concluded their 10th set of back to backs this season. … New York scratched goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, forward Greg McKegg and defenseman Brendan Smith.

UP NEXT:

Sharks: Visit New York Islanders on Sunday

Rangers: Visit New York Islanders on Tuesday

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