Kreider scores 200th NHL goal as Rangers drop San Jose 3-0

Frank Curto
Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kreider scored his 200th career goal, Braden Schneider netted his first NHL goal, and Igor Shesterkin shut out the Sharks in the  New York Rangers 3-0 win.

Chris Kreider scored his first career short-handed goal in the first period of the New York Rangers and ended that game by recording his 200th NHL as the Blueshirts defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-0 on Thursday night.  Earlier in the day, he was named to the NHL All-Star along with defenseman Adam Fox.

As has been the case most days recently, the Rangers had another player enter Covid Protocol and this time it was Alexis Lafreniere.

The Blueshirts lineup was a mix of NHL and AHL players with the team doing its best to maneuver through the pandemic issues.  Head coach Kris Knoblauch ( up from the AHL due to Gerrard Gallant’s positive test earlier this week) must have felt comfortable with many of his Wolf Pack players in the game on Thursday.

Kreider scored his first of the game off a short-handed feed from Mika Zibaenajad.  It was the 22nd goal of the year for Kreider with Zibanejad and Adam Fox getting the helpers to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead early in the first period.

Zibanejad extended his point streak to four games (2G-2A). It was his second shorthanded point of the season and 16th of his career. In his last 10 games, Zibanejad has registered eight goals and five assists for 13 points and has points in five of his last six games (5G-2A).

Adam Fox continues to have a great season. He recorded his team-leading 32nd assist and team-leading 37th  point of the season. Fox’s 37 points are the third most among league defensemen.

That score held until the third period when rookie Braden Schneider made the score 2-0 last 1:27 of the third period. Ryan Strome found Schneider on the top of the circle and then blistered a shot past Sharks goalie Adin Hill.

The goal was the first of his NHL career in his first NHL game. Schneider is the seventh defenseman in Rangers franchise history to score in his first NHL game.

Rookie Jitters

The 20-year-old Schneider was expectedly nervous before the game began on Thursday as was reported by Chelena Goldman of NHL.com.

“The whole day I was quite jittery, I couldn’t really sit still. My nap wasn’t too great. I came to the rink and same thing, I had nerves and I just tried to stay in the moment. When I got on the ice for warmup, it became a little bit more real. Then I don’t think it hit me until my first shift of the game. I felt like after that I settled in and I got a little bit more confident as the game went on.”

Kreider scored his 200th career into an empty net to close out the game for the Blueshirts. Kreider became the 12th player in franchise history to score 200 or more goals.

Shesterkin returns

Igor Shesterkin returned from his Covids hiatus to record his second consecutive shutout and third shutout of the year. Shesterkin extended his shutout streak to 126:57 minutes. In the win, Shesterkin made 37 saves and improved to 11-0-0 over his career when making 37 or more saves. Among NHL goaltenders who have played 10 or more games, Shesterkin ranks first in save percentage (.939), second in goals-against average (1.99), and tied for seventh in wins (16). Shesterkin has won seven of his last eight starts.

The win was the team’s 14th of the season, which leads the NHL.

Notes:

  • The Rangers have won seven straight games against the Sharks, dating to Jan. 25, 2018, which is tied for their longest win streak against an opponent (seven, New Jersey Devils).
  • Kreider tied Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place in Rangers history with 380 points. He has 200 goals and 180 assists in 611 games in 10 seasons with the Rangers.
  • Zibanejad has scored 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the past 10 games.
  • Forward Anthony Greco, playing his second NHL game, had five shots in 9:44 in his Rangers debut. He is the son of a former FDNY firefighter who passed away due to a 9/11 illness.

The Rangers will not have a game start later than 8:00 p.m. for the remainder of this season.

The team’s next game is Saturday in Philadelphia 7:00 PM, TV: MSG+.