Granlund, Staal each scored twice, Wild beat Rangers 4-2
NEW YORK (AP) — Mikael Granlund and Eric Staal each scored twice and Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-1 victory over the free-falling New York Rangers on Friday night.
The Wild completed a three-game sweep of New York-area teams after beating the Monday night and New Jersey on Thursday night.
The Rangers lost for the sixth straight time in regulation. New York is 6-17-0 since beating Buffalo in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Granlund opened the scoring for Minnesota at 16:06 of the first period after Staal intercepted a terrible breakout pass attempt by Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. Staal passed to Granlund, who easily put the puck past rookie netminder Alexandar Georgiev.
Georgiev played his second NHL game after making his debut Thursday night in a 3-1 loss at Montreal.
Staal made it 2-0 at 18:43.
The Rangers narrowed the deficit to 2-1 when Jesper Fast scored his ninth of the season at 2:41 of the second.
Staal made it 3-1 for the visitors 52 seconds into the third period with a power-play goal — his team-leading 29th — of the season. Defenseman Ryan Suter and Granlund had assists.
Granlund, a 25-year-old Finnish forward drafted ninth overall by the Wild in 2010, made it 4-1 at 9:22 of the third.
Minnesota is 6-1-2 in its last eight games. The Wild are in playoff position in a tight Central Division race.
Rangers forward Rick Nash didn’t dress for the second straight game. The 33-year-old Nash, whose contract expires after this season, is expected to be traded by Monday’s deadline.
He has 18 goals and 10 assists this season and is one point shy of 800 for his career. Nash scored against the Flyers in last Sunday’s 7-4 home loss. He was also a healthy scratch for Thursday’s loss at Montreal.
The Rangers traded forward Michael Grabner — their leading goal scorer — to the Devils late Thursday after sending defenseman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins earlier in the week.
The Rangers are facing late-season games without playoff-race meaning for the first time since 2004 when they also made numerous deadline trades. They have only missed the playoffs once since 2005-06, in 2010 when the Rangers missed out on the last day of the season in a shootout loss at Philadephia.
NOTES: Forward Chris Kreider returned for the Rangers after missing 24 games with blood clot in right arm. Kreider last played Dec. 27 against Washington. ... The Wild are 4-7-0 at Madison Square Garden ... Minnesota scratched forward Chris Stewart and defensemen Jonas Brodin and Gustav Olofsson ... The Rangers continued to be without injured defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh and Steven Kampfer.
Wild: Host San Jose on Sunday night.
Rangers: Host Detroit on Sunday night.