May 20th, 2024

Panarin scores 49th as Rangers beat Senators 4-0, clinch Presidents’ Trophy

By Allan Kreda, The Associated Press on April 15, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Monday night to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best regular-season record.

Jack Roslovic, Adam Fox and Alexis Lafreniere also scored and Chris Kreider had two assists as the Rangers won their league-best 55th game and finished with114 points – both franchise records – and will have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

New York won for the fifth time in seven games and went 26-7-1 in their last 34 games. They previously won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1991-92, 1993-94 – when they won the Stanley Cup for only time since 1940 – and 2014-15.

Roslovic, who was acquired from Columbus on March 8, scored his third goal with the Rangers and ninth overall this season at 5:55 of the first, beating Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo by finishing off a 2-on-1 passing play with Kreider.

Fox made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 8:58 of the second. Fox finessed a pass from Kreider past Korpisalo for his 17th goal of the season with Kaapo Kakko – playing his 300th NHL game – in the penalty box for slashing. Fox has the most goals by a Rangers defenceman since Brian Leetch scored 21 in 2000-01.

Panarin made it 3-0 with his 49th goal at 4:34 of the third. Panarin finished with 120 points – second-most in Rangers history – and with points in a franchise-record 67 of his 82 games this season.

Panarin had a chance for his 50th with a late Rangers power-play but Korpisalo denied him twice.

Lafreniere made it 4-0 with seven minutes remaining in the third with his 28th, concluding a pretty setup from Panarin and defenceman Erik Gustafsson.

Kreider finished with 75 points, including 39 goals, for the second-highest points total of his career.

Shesterkin won seven of his last nine starts to finish the regular season at 36-17-2. In 22 games since Feb. 12, the 28-year-old Russian netminder was 16-5-1 with four shutouts.

The Rangers finished 30-11-0 at home, winning 15 of their last 19 contests at Madison Square Garden. The 30 home wins tied the 1970-71 squad for most in franchise history.

The Senators will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. The last time Ottawa reached the post-season was in 2017 when they defeated the Rangers in six games in a second-round series.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Start playoffs at home.

Senators: Conclude their season at Boston on Tuesday night.

AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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