Chris Kreider moved up a spot in New York's record book by scoring twice Wednesday, Tyler Motte added two goals and the Rangers beat the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 in a feisty battle of third-place clubs
The victory by the Metropolitan Division's Rangers (46-21-11, 103 points) allowed them to move within three points of the idle New Jersey Devils -- with each team having four games left
Kreider's two scores gave him sole possession of fifth place on New York's all-time career goals list with 264, breaking a tie with Vic Hadfield.
Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin tallied, and Mika Zibanejad reached 600 career points (601) by posting three assists. Barclay Goodrow hit 100 assists for his career by dishing out a pair, and Adam Fox had two.
Goaltender Igor Shesterkin (36-13-7) made 28 saves as New York moved to 35-11-6 since Dec. 5.
After playing just once in the past 18 games, defenseman Ryan Lindgren (shoulder) returned. However, top-line right winger Patrick Kane (lower body) was out.
The Atlantic Division's Lightning (45-27-6, 96 points) are 2-5-1 in their last eight games against New York and they stayed six points behind the idle Toronto Maple Leafs
The Lightning have four games remaining -- one at home against Toronto on April 11 -- but the Leafs have five
Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn each had one goal and once assist, while Darren Raddysh added a goal and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (34-21-4) stopped 31 shots.
The match featured 70 combined penalty minutes -- 42 by Tampa Bay.
In the first period, Kreider tipped in a long shot on the power play at 6:13 for the historic goal.
Just 88 seconds later, the sizzling Kakko scored for the fifth time in eight games -- his 17th overall -- and Motte notched one just past halfway.
Killorn gave the Lightning some life on their first power play, redirecting in his 25th goal in much the same fashion as Kreider. The goal was 19 seconds after Motte's
The Rangers lost defenseman Jacob Trouba in the first after he crashed hard onto the ice, hitting face-first on the surface
Raddysh scored his first goal of the season in the second, then Motte added another goal -- his eighth --for the Rangers, but New York only led 4-3 at the second break after Hagel scored at 11:34
Kreider's second goal -- his 35th -- gave New York a two-goal lead in the third, and Panarin hit the back of the net for his 26th to finish the scoring.
--Field Level Media