ST. PAUL, Minn. — Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists for the New York Rangers in a 7-3 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.
Chris Kreider scored twice, Adam Fox and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and an assist, and Alexis Lafreniere and Mika Zibanejad each had two assists for the Rangers (2-0-0), who visit the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves.
“That’s what we see with our lineup,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said. “There’s a lot of skill and talent there, and as long as we work hard, we’ll get scoring from all over the place.
Matt Boldy scored twice for the Wild, who were playing their season opener. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves.
“I’d give [the two goals] back in a heartbeat,” Boldy said. “We just got blown out of the rink. It’s nothing you look on too much.”
Kreider gave New York a 1-0 lead at 4:06 of the first period with a power-play goal. Panarin passed to Zibanejad, who faked a one-timer in the left circle and sent a backdoor pass to Kreider at the right post.
Video: [email protected]: Kreider kicks off the scoring with a PPG
Fox made it 2-0 at 16:03 when he pinched in and redirected a pass from Lafreniere, who set up Panarin in the slot to extend the lead to 3-0 at 19:47.
“We just try to play hard and 100 percent every game, and how things go, things go,” Panarin said.
Mats Zuccarello cut the deficit to 3-1 at 7:45 of the second period, scoring on a one-timer short side off a pass from Kirill Kaprizov on the power play.
Filip Chytil found a rebound to make it 4-1 at 16:54.
“It’s a slap in the face,” Fleury said. “We just need to come back here and get ready for our next one (against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday).”
Video: [email protected]: Panarin gets a pass in front and fires it in
Trocheck scored his first goal with the Rangers on a one-timer off a pass from Panarin to push it to 5-1 at 4:18 of the third period.
“Our defensive game. Period. Checking, missing checks, everything. Our complete defensive game was awful,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “Our offensive game was real good. Their goalie was great early. It could’ve been the difference, but we definitely have to do a better job defending.”
Video: [email protected]: Trocheck scores in 3rd period
Boldy converted a backhand from the edge of the crease to make it 5-2 at 5:16, but Kaapo Kakko answered back 30 seconds later to make it 6-2.
Boldy then took a drop pass from Matt Dumba, skated in on Shesterkin, and tucked the puck inside the left post to cut it to 6-3 at 6:20.
Kreider tipped in a slap shot from K’Andre Miller at 14:07 for the 7-3 final.
“I feel good,” Gallant said. “The guys played a real good game again tonight. They played hard, and it’s really nice to see the scoring getting spread out around our group. ‘Kap’s’ was quite a big goal tonight. Chytil scored a big goal tonight going to the net. So you like to see stuff like that from our team.”
NOTES: It’s only the second regulation loss in a home opener in Minnesota’s history (16-2-4). …Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, Zuccarello and Kaprizov were each minus-4. … It was Lafrienere’s first multiassist NHL game. … Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba and Miller were each plus-4.
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