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Hayes, Miller score 2 goals each, Rangers beat Canucks 7-2



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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Even without two of their top forwards, the high-scoring New York Rangers rolled past the Vancouver Canucks.

Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller scored two goals each, Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves, and the Rangers beat the Canucks 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists, Nick Holden had a goal and an assist and Brandon Pirri also scored for New York, which was without Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.

The Rangers lead the NHL with 72 goals through 17 games — 15 more than the next-closest club. Their plus-34 scoring differential is also 16 better than Montreal in second place.

"We have a good team and we're playing the right way," Miller said. "It's surprising scoring at the rate we're scoring at right now, but we've got every line chipping in and that's one of the hardest things to stop."

Mika Zibanejad, Jesper Fast and Kevin Klein each added two assists for New York, which has won three straight and eight of its last nine — with the lone loss in that stretch coming at home against the Canucks last Tuesday.

"We just know sooner or later good things are going to happen," Lundqvist said. "Someone is going to make a big play."

Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund scored for Vancouver and Lucas Sbisa had two assists. Jacob Markstrom finished with 18 saves.

"Our guys were focused," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It wasn't like we gave up."

The Rangers led 3-0 before Sutter got Vancouver on the scoreboard with 40 seconds left in the second period. Hayes and Miller then scored in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the third to help New York pull away.

The Canucks came in having won two of three after a stretch in which they lost nine straight (0-8-1). Vancouver beat the Rangers 5-3 at New York to end the long skid and get the only points on a six-game road trip.

After picking up wins at Calgary and Edmonton during the weekend, the Rangers led 1-0 after the first period. Miller, who had two great chances early, opened the scoring with 1:18 left on a slick deflection between his own legs, off Sbisa and through Markstrom's five-hole.

Hayes doubled the lead at 9:08 of the second on a slap shot that beat Markstrom short-side for his seventh. Pirri banged home his fifth off Zibanejad's rebound on the power play with 5:22 left in the middle period to make it 3-0.

"The big thing is when guys are getting an opportunity, they are seeing net, they are not seeing a goalie," Lundqvist said. "That's huge to be able to score when you are under pressure for a while and you get an opportunity and you make them pay. That gives you a lot of confidence."

Sutter threw a puck on net from the sideboards that found its way past Lundqvist with Henrik Sedin right in front for his third in the final minute.

Hayes scored his second of the game on a breakaway for his eighth at 1:49 of the third, and Miller popped his second of the night and seventh of the year off a pass from Zuccarello just 42 seconds later.

"It's happened a few times where we're a goal or two down going into the third and we give up a goal right away and the game's over," said Henrik Sedin, who along with brother Daniel are the only two Vancouver players in double digits for points. "We took some chances early on (in the third) and it cost us."

Granlund batted his fifth out of the air with about 6 1/2 minutes left to get Vancouver to within three, but Zuccarello made it 6-2 with his seventh with 4:58 remaining before Holden buried his second on a power play about three minutes later to cap the scoring.

"As a goalie I've got to make some timely saves," Markstrom said. "I did not do that tonight."

NOTES: Cristoval Nieves was recalled from the AHL and made his NHL debut on New York's fourth line. ... Canucks F Jannik Hansen (fractured rib) and D Christopher Tanev (lower body) sat out for Vancouver. ... Sbisa played his 400th NHL game. ...

UP NEXT

Rangers: At Columbus on Friday night in the finale of a four-game trip.

Canucks: Host Arizona on Thursday night.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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