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Blake Wheeler scores twice in Rangers' 5-2 win over Kraken

NEW YORK (AP) — Blake Wheeler had two goals, Kaapo Kakko scored in his second game back from a long injury absence and the New York Rangers beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves as the Rangers won their second consecutive game after four straight losses. Vincent Trocheck and Erik Gustafsson scored in the first period for New York.

Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann had the Seattle goals.

The Rangers were coming off a 2-1 home win over Washington on Sunday to snap their skid. Seattle’s nine-game winning streak ended with a 3-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox each had two assists for the Rangers, who are 5-0-1 against the Kraken — an expansion franchise in 2021-22 — and have outscored them 22-12.

The Rangers improved to 13-5-1 against Western Conference teams this season and 8-2-0 against Pacific Division opponents. New York is 15-6-0 halfway through its home schedule.

Trocheck opened the scoring on the power play at 8:22 of the first, redirecting a hard pass from Artemi Panarin past Kraken netminder Chris Driedger for his 14th goal. Fox also assisted.

Trocheck has 14 points, including six goals, in his last nine games. Panarin leads the Rangers with 60 points, including 27 goals, and has points in 36 of New York’s 43 games this season.

The Rangers have scored at least one power- play goal in 13 of their last 18 games.

Eberle tied it at 10:41 of the first with a power-play goal of his own. Eberle snapped the puck past Shesterkin for his sixth of the season. McCann and Oliver Bjorkstrand assisted.

Gustafsson put the Rangers back in front at 11:09 with an unassisted goal, his fourth.

Wheeler made it 3-1 with a deflection at 12:32 of the second. Jonny Brodzinski and Braden Schneider had assists.

Kakko increased the lead with his third goal of the season and first since Nov. 20 at Dallas. Kakko returned for Sunday’s win over Washington after missing 21 games with a lower-body injury sustained against Buffalo on Nov. 27.

Kakko whipped the puck past Driedger after getting a backhand pass from Zibanejad, who was streaking down left wing. Chris Kreider also assisted. Zibanejad has points in 13 of his last 17 games.

McCann made it 4-2 with a power-play goal at 14:24 of the third, his team-best 17th of the season.

Wheeler scored his second of the night and seventh of the season into an empty net at 17:22.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night to start a four-game trip.