NEW YORK — Jonathan Marchessault scored three times, Adin Hill stopped 36 shots and the surging Vegas Golden Knights beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on Friday night.
Keegan Kolesar and Sheldon Rempal also scored to help Vegas improve to 5-0-1 in its last six games. Ivan Barbashev had three assists and Nicolas Roy added two.
Marchessault completed his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career — including two in the playoffs — into an empty net with 30 seconds remaining. It was his 25th goal of the season and gave him eight goals and three assists during a six-game point streak.
“Sometimes you’re luckier than other times. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn’t,” Marchessault said. “When you’re hot, you just want to keep it going.”
Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, and Kaapo Kakko also scored for the Rangers, who came off a 1-2-1 West Coast trip and have lost nine of 13 (4-7-2) this month. Igor Shesterkin finished with 15 saves.
New York, which had won 25 of its first 35 games, still has a two-point lead over Carolina atop the Metropolitan Division.
“We have to play through this thing,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. “We have to get to the net more and retrieve pucks. … We have to keep working”
Hill, making his second straight start after missing more than a month with an undisclosed injury, has stopped 76 of the 80 shots he’s faced in the two games.
“It’s just fun being back with the team,” Hill said. “I feel good, my body feels good and I’m able to do everything I need to do. It’s nice for the confidence and the mental side of it, so just keep building off of it.”
Marchessault pushed the Golden Knights’ lead to 4-1 at 2:10 of the third period, scoring off a rebound off the end boards on Barbashev’s shot.
New York pulled Shesterkin for an extra skater with a little more than four minutes remaining, and Kakko scored on a rebound from the left side with 1:06 remaining to make it a two-goal game.
Kolesar blocked a pass attempt by Artemi Panarin and skated up the ice on a breakaway and beat Shesterkin on the glove side at 3:18 of the second to give Vegas a 2-1 lead. It was his fourth.
“I found some space, luckily it found the back of the net,” Kolesar said. “Everyone here knows what’s at stake. We look at how the trip started with one point (OT loss at New Jersey on Monday), now we have a chance for seven out of eight points tomorrow in Detroit.”
Just 46 seconds later, Marchessault deflected Barbashev’s fluttering shot from the left circle past Shesterkin to make it 3-1.
“We played a structured game, a very good game,” Marchessault said. “We really hit our stride when (Kolesar) scored.”
The Golden Knights went 0 for 2 on the power play — failing to get a shot on goal during either advantage — to fall to 3 for 25 over the last nine games.
New York outshot Vegas 15-6 in the first period, but Rempal gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead 5:02 into the game as Paul Cotter’s sharp-angle shot from the right circle appeared to deflect off his stick and Shesterkin’s blocker. The 28-year-old Rempal scored for the second straight game, three days after getting his first NHL goal in Vegas’ 3-2 win at the New York Islanders.
Wheeler tied it 1:31 later as he beat Hill on the glove side from the left circle off a pass from Erik Gustafsson. It was his eighth.
Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren went to the dressing room midway through the first period and didn’t return.
Rangers forward Filip Chytil had a setback in his injury recovery when he was down on the ice for several minutes during the morning practice Friday. He was helped off the ice by teammates Zac Jones and Jake Leschyshyn and tended to by team trainers.
Golden Knights: At Detroit on Saturday night to finish a four-game trip before the All-Star break.
Rangers: At Ottawa on Saturday night heading into the break.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL