Kane scores first with New York as Rangers edge Canadiens in shootout

Kane scored and assisted to tally his first points in a Rangers uniform.

The New York Rangers narrowly edged out the Montreal Canadiens — despite having never led in the game — with a 4-3 shootout win at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.

Patrick Kane scored his first goal for the club and Artemi Panarin kept New York in the game with three assists. Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves on 26 shots on goal, while the Rangers blocked 24 shots as a team to help out their Vezina-winning goaltender.

Patrick Kane notched his first goal with his new club as the Rangers outlasted the Canadiens in 5-4 shootout win on Thursday. (Reuters)
Patrick Kane notched his first goal with his new club as the Rangers outlasted the Canadiens in 5-4 shootout win on Thursday. (Reuters)

Kaiden Guhle registered a goal and an assist in his return to play after a two-game absence, while Josh Anderson and Alex Belzile scored the other two goals for the Canadiens on the night. Samuel Montembeault stopped 30 shots, making a few desperation saves to keep the game close.

Kane on the board for the Rangers

Patrick Kane finally scored his first goal for his new team in his third game since arriving from the Chicago Blackhawks last week, slotting a well-placed shot past Montembeault on the power play to tie the game at three apiece, seconds after the Habs had taken the lead.

The 34-year-old also registered an assist on Jacob Trouba's second-period marker to earn his first point as a Ranger. The goal and assist brought Kane's tally to 47 points on the season.

Rangers' transition defence needs work

New York gave up odd-man rush after odd-man rush on Thursday night, leading to two goals allowed and a plethora of high-danger scoring chances.

Rangers defencemen were continuously caught up ice, giving their opponents freedom to attack in numbers.

A team much with much more firepower than the Canadiens could easily have burned the Rangers on the night, so it'll be interesting to see if it's something they address going forward.

Stay hot, Belzile

Alex Belzile scored for the third consecutive game, bringing his tally on the season — and his career — to four. The 31-year-old opted to shoot on a 2-on-1 opportunity, sniping home the Canadiens' second goal of the night in the opening frame.

A career minor-leaguer, Belzile has jumped at the opportunity presented to him by Montreal's injury-riddled roster, carving out a fourth-line role and adding some much-needed — albeit unlikely — offensive punch to the lineup.

Panarin joins elite company

Per NHL Public Relations, Panarin became only the third undrafted player in NHL history to record a seventh 70-point campaign in his first eight seasons, joining hockey icons Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny.


Gretzky, of course, was never drafted because he signed a deal with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association as a 17-year-old before joining the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL. Stastny famously defected from Czechoslovakia in 1980 to join the Quebec Nordiques, eventually carving out a 15-year Hall of Fame career.

Panarin also became the eighth undrafted player in the history of the league to record seven 70-point seasons, and the first since Martin St. Louis — head coach of the Canadiens — accomplished the feat in 2011-12.