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NHL: The Rangers, first team to 50 points, after a victory over the Lightning

The New York Rangers, led by Artemi Panarin who scored a hat trick, became the first NHL team to reach the 50-point plateau after a convincing 5-1 victory on the ice of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Saturday night.

The last time the Rangers reached this plateau first was during the 1993-94 season, when they last won the Stanley Cup. Their record of 25-9-1 currently allows them to sit atop the overall standings in the Bettman circuit.

Artemi Panarin continued his exceptional season by scoring a hat trick. He now has 23 goals this season, including 14 on the road, which is tied for an NHL high with Sidney Crosby.

“Honestly, after this match, I feel very good. I don’t know what’s better (than) ending the year like this,” Panarin said. We won the match, which is important. Thanks to my partners. ”

Panarin’s linemates also had a strong game. Vincent Trocheck finished the game with a goal and three assists, while Alexis Lafrenière added two assists to his tally.

Chris Kreider was the other scorer for the Blueshirts. Mika Zibanejad has now scored at least one point in 10 straight games. He has eight goals and nine assists during this streak.

Nikita Kucherov, who sits atop the NHL in scoring, reached the 25-goal mark by hitting the target during a power play.

Igor Shesterkin earned the victory after a 34-save performance.

“I think he was the best player on the ice, and that’s saying something, because (Panarin) had a hell of a game,” said New York coach Peter Laviolette. But Igor was incredible with some of the saves he made. He seemed to be in tune. He saw the pucks. He was very good. ”

In the defeat, Steven Stamkos tied Vincent Lecavalier by playing a 1,037th game with the Lightning, which represents a high in team history.

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