The Buzzer: Grabner’s hat trick helps Rangers rout ‘Canes; Pavelski hits milestone

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Player Of The Night. Michael Grabner, New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers had a miserable start to the season with losses seven of their first eight games.

Since then? They have been on a roll and after their 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night they are now 13-5-0 in their past 18 games and have won 11 out of 14.

Friday’s game was probably not as lopsided as the 5-1 final score would indicate (it was 2-1 until there were three minutes remaining in regulation) but Michael Grabner helped turn it into a blowout with a pair of empty net goals. Those two empty net goals, along with the goal he scored in the second period (officially the game-winner), gave him his fifth career hat trick.

Grabner was a surprise star for the Rangers a year ago by scoring 27 goals and he is off to an even better start this season with 13 goals in his first 26 games.

He has been an outstanding find for the Rangers.

Highlight Of The Night.

There are few players in the NHL that can rip it the way Patrik Laine can. He demonstrated that on Friday night with this power play goal in the Winnipeg Jets’ win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Save Of The Night.

There was not much goaltending or defense in the Ottawa Senators’ 6-5 win over the New York Islanders, but Mike Condon needed to make one huge save on Jordan Eberle just before the buzzer to help preserve the win for the Senators to finally snap their seven-game losing streak.

Factoid Of The Night.

Joe Pavelski has been one of the best goal-scorers in the NHL for a few years now. On Friday night he hit a personal milestone by scoring his 300th career goal, making him one of just three active American-born players to reach that mark. Phil Kessel and Zach Parise being the other two.

Scores

Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Buffalo Sabres 0

Ottawa Senators 6, New York Islanders 5

New York Rangers 5, Carolina Hurricanes 1

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Anaheim Ducks 2

San Jose Sharks 2, Florida Panthers 1

Los Angeles Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 1

Winnipeg Jets 7, Vegas Golden Knights 4

New Jersey Devils 2, Colorado Avalanche 1

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.