New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (Mo 61) celebrates with his team after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. The New York Rangers won 4-1. PICTURE: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Nash scored his 25th goal, Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves, and the New York Rangers beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Wednesday night for their 11th victory in 12 games.
Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Dominic Moore also scored for the Rangers, who opened their three-game California road trip with a dominant effort against the overall NHL leaders.
Francois Beauchemin scored midway through the third period for the Ducks, who have just one regulation victory in eight games.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 26 shots in his first home start in more than seven years for the Ducks, who re-signed their former backup goalie last month after a seven-year absence.
New York prepared for its Stanley Cup finals rematch with the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night by controlling its matchup with the Ducks, who had won four of the clubs’ last five meetings.
The Rangers have been the NHL’s best defensive team over the past month, and Lundqvist combined with his defense to limit Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to one power-play assist apiece.
After a scoreless first period, Brassard scored in his third straight game after a nine-game goal drought.
Nash scored early in the third period by swatting home the rebound of Kevin Klein’s shot from the slot after a poor clearing attempt by Sami Vatanen. The power forward has secured the 10th 25-goal season of his career with more than half of the Rangers’ schedule still to play.
Anaheim scored 10 seconds into a power play when Beauchemin’s big shot from the blue line beat a partially screened Lundqvist. Beauchemin has three goals in five games after a 24-game drought, dating to last season.
But Beauchemin gave away the puck moments later to Zuccarello, who beat Bryzgalov for his first goal in 10 games. Moore added an empty-net goal.
Bryzgalov was largely solid in a game that brought his career full circle. The Russian goalie was drafted by the Ducks in 2000 and came up through the organization, eventually backing up Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Anaheim’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2007.
Bryzgalov hadn’t made a home start for the Ducks since Nov. 7, 2007, shortly before he was waived to make room for Jonas Hiller. Bryzgalov played for four teams over the past seven seasons.
The Ducks allowed Hiller to leave as a free agent last summer, but had to re-sign Bryzgalov last month to back up starter Frederik Andersen when prospect John Gibson was sidelined with a long-term groin injury.
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