Patrick Kane capped a three-goal flurry in the first period as the host New York Rangers continued their roll with a 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
The Rangers (44-20-10, 98 points) improved to 9-1-1 in their past 11 contests and moved within two points of the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division. New York visits New Jersey on Thursday.
Filip Chytil and Vladimir Tarasenko scored before Kane netted his fifth goal since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 28. It also was the first time Tarasenko and Kane scored in the same game.
Artemi Panarin added a power-play goal late in the second period and set up Mika Zibanejad's tally with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the third. Vincent Trocheck contributed an empty-net goal shortly after Zibanejad scored.
Kiril Marchenko scored his 20th goal to match the Columbus rookie record set by Pierre-Luc Dubois in 2017-18. Johnny Gaudreau set up Marchenko's power-play goal and then scored late in the first, but the Blue Jackets (23-43-7, 53 points) fell to 3-8-1 in their past 12 contests.
New York's Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves, including a sprawling glove save on Jack Roslovic with about 11 minutes remaining.
Columbus goalie Michael Hutchinson allowed five goals on 35 shots.
The Rangers scored three times in a span of 3:37 to race out to a three-goal lead.
Chytil scored off a scramble in front by getting to the rebound of an Alexis Lafreniere shot 5:23 into the game.
Tarasenko made it 2-0 by going to the net and deflecting a pass from Braden Schneider at 6:50, and Kane ripped a wrister from the left circle into the top left corner of the net 70 seconds later.
Columbus scored twice in the final 8:15 of the opening period.
Marchenko, after getting a pass from Roslovic, ripped a shot from the left circle that appeared to change directions at 11:45. Gaudreau made it a one-goal game with 29 seconds remaining in the frame, ripping a shot from the right circle that sailed over Shesterkin after Boone Jenner made a backhanded pass while falling to the ice.
Panarin made it 4-2 at 17:36 of the second when he ripped a shot from the left faceoff dot to reach 25 goals for the sixth time in his career.
Panarin then made a pass to Zibanejad, who finished it off with a one-timer from the left circle to increase the gap to three goals late in the third period.
--Field Level Media