Rangers Spoil Boughner’s Debut with 6-3 Win over Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mika Zibanejad scored the tying and go-ahead goals in less than five minutes during the third period and the New York Rangers spoiled interim coach Bob Boughner’s debut with San Jose by beating the Sharks 6-3 on Thursday night.

Mika Zibanejad New York Rangers
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Artemi Panarin added two insurance goals, including an empty-netter, to give him his first hat trick with New York. Jesper Fast also scored and Alexandar Georgiev made 15 saves to help the Rangers win for the seventh time in 11 games.

Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Brenden Dillon scored for San Jose but it wasn’t enough to end a losing streak that stretched to six games. Martin Jones made 24 saves.

This recent skid led to the decision by general manager Doug Wilson to fire Peter DeBoer for his first midseason coaching change in more than 16 years in charge in San Jose.

The Sharks seemed in position to get the spark Wilson was seeking when Dillon ended his 106-game stretch without a goal by scoring the tiebreaker early in the third.

But Zibanejad tied it when he scored on a power play with 11:11 to play after Barclay Goodrow was called for tripping, and then gave the Rangers the lead with 6:50 to go when he beat Jones from the left circle after San Jose had trouble clearing the puck from the defensive zone.

Panarin added his second with 3:11 left, shortly after San Jose failed to capitalize on a power play.

Artemi Panarin New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The day started with the Sharks formally introducing Boughner as their new interim coach a day after firing DeBoer less than seven months after he led San Jose to the Western Conference Final.

Boughner implemented a couple of changes, including playing Joe Thornton and Hertl on a line together, before heading out for his first game in charge in San Jose.

The Sharks ended a four-game stretch without holding a lead when Hertl scored a short-handed goal when he opted to shoot on an odd-man rush midway through the first after Jones made a good stop on Zibanejad.

San Jose nearly added to that lead on the power play when Brent Burns’ point shot hit the post, then bounced off Georgiev and was trickling toward the goal line when Marc Staal cleared it just before it crossed.

The Rangers scored twice in the second period to take the lead, with Filip Chytil setting up Fast in the slot after skating around Dylan Gambrell and then Ryan Strome setting up Panarin for his 16th of the season.

Couture tied it for San Jose a few minutes later off a pass from Timo Meier.

NOTES: Thornton played in his 1,600th game. Sharks teammate Patrick Marleau has played 1,687 games and they are the first teammates in NHL history to play in the same game with each having at least 1,600 regular-season games to their credit. … Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux missed the game after getting banged up Tuesday in Los Angeles.


Rangers: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

Sharks: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Josh Dubow, The Associated Press