Artemi Panarin scores 49th goal as Rangers beat Senators 4-0 to clinch Presidents’ Trophy

Rangers Senators
New York Rangers center Jack Roslovic (96) celebrates his goal with Mika Zibanejad (93), Chris Kreider (20) and Braden Schneider (4) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators Monday, April 15, 2024, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NEW YORK (AP) — Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Monday night to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best regular-season record.

Jack Roslovic, Adam Fox, and Alexis Lafreniere also scored and Chris Kreider had two assists as the Rangers won their league-best 55th game and finished with 114 points — both franchise records — and will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

New York won for the fifth time in seven games and went 26-7-1 in their last 34 games. They previously won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1991-92, 1993-94 — when they won the Stanley Cup for only time since 1940 — and 2014-15.

Roslovic, who was acquired from Columbus on March 8, scored his third goal with the Rangers and ninth overall this season at 5:55 of the first, beating Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo by finishing off a 2-on-1 passing play with Kreider.

Fox made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 8:58 of the second. Fox finessed a pass from Kreider past Korpisalo for his 17th goal of the season with Kaapo Kakko – playing his 300th NHL game – in the penalty box for slashing. Fox has the most goals by a Rangers defenseman since Brian Leetch scored 21 in 2000-01.

Panarin made it 3-0 with his 49th goal at 4:34 of the third. Panarin finished with 120 points — second-most in Rangers history — and with points in a franchise-record 67 of his 82 games this season.

Panarin had a chance for his 50th with a late Rangers power-play but Korpisalo denied him twice.

Lafreniere made it 4-0 with seven minutes remaining in the third with his 28th, concluding a pretty setup from Panarin and defenseman Erik Gustafsson.

Kreider finished with 75 points, including 39 goals, for the second-highest points total of his career.

Shesterkin won seven of his last nine starts to finish the regular season at 36-17-2. In 22 games since Feb. 12, the 28-year-old Russian netminder was 16-5-1 with four shutouts.

The Rangers finished 30-11-0 at home, winning 15 of their last 19 contests at Madison Square Garden. The 30 home wins tied the 1970-71 squad for most in franchise history.

The Senators will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. The last time Ottawa reached the postseason was in 2017 when they defeated the Rangers in six games in a second-round series.

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