The Rangers, who have become the hottest team in the N.H.L. after an awful start to the season, used a man advantage to help them to a season-high sixth straight win on Saturday. The Rangers scored two power-play goals in the second period en route to a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers — their fifth consecutive win at Madison Square Garden.
“They are a penalty kill that is struggling,” said the Rangers’ Kevin Shattenkirk, who extended his point streak to seven games. “We just tried to expose them the best way that we could. We worked for each other to get in the spots that were open and made some good plays.”
Rick Nash scored twice, Mats Zuccarello picked up two assists, and Pavel Buchnevich had a goal for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves, and for the fourth consecutive game, Ryan McDonagh registered an assist.
Jesse Puljujarvi and Connor McDavid each scored for the Oilers, who fell to the Rangers for the fourth straight time.
Nash scored what turned out to be the game winner when defenseman Brady Skjei found him darting toward the back post at 18 minutes 53 seconds of the second period. McDonagh also assisted on the play.
“We kind of talked about that play before the game, and we knew there’s going to be a chance it would be open,” Nash said of his power-play goal against Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. “Brady and I talked about it, and he made a great pass. You just try to build a wall with your skates and your sticks, and you hope it hits something. When you get a goalie like Cam, we know him pretty well. He challenges hard. He leaves that backdoor play open.”
The Rangers had jumped in front, 1-0, when Nash and Kevin Hayes completed an odd-man rush at 12:16 of the first period. Zuccarello also assisted on the play.
“I just look to see what stick the defenseman has. When it’s a lefty on lefty, you just wait for him to move his stick,” Hayes said of the two-on-one opportunity. “You just got to wait out the goalie, then make your decision.
The things we want to do have stayed the same,” Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said. “There’s no doubt that we’re executing better. With that execution, it doesn’t lead to costly mistakes, and we’ve been able to build off that the last few games and play, for the most part, pretty good hockey.”
There was a scary moment at 3:24 of the second period, when Edmonton’s Zack Kassian and the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey got tangled up. As both fell to the ground, Kassian’s skate clipped Vesey in the mouth. Vesey returned with full cage to start third period.