Rangers claim division lead

Mats Zuccarello celebrate signing a new four-year deal with two assists for the Rangers and the two points lifted them above the New York Islanders for top – they are three points adrift of Eastern Conference leaders Montreal.

Zuccarello and Derick Brassard had a hand in the first two Rangers goals, scored by Marc Staal and Chris Kreider.

Matt Cullen’s seventh goal of the season gave the Predators hope late in the second period, but Dominic Moore restored New York’s two-goal lead and Rick Nash wrapped things up with an empty-netter.

Cam Talbot made 25 saves for his 13th win of the season.

The Canadiens were shutout by the Sharks in San Jose, with Alex Stalock making 20 saves.

Ben Smith had a goal and an assist in his first game for San Jose, after a deadline day trade from the Chicago Blackhawks, including the first goal of the night.

Joe Pavelski’s 32nd goal of the season made it 2-0 by the end of the first period and Matt Irwin and Patrick Marleau were also on target as the Sharks ended an eight-game home skid.

Monday’s other game saw the Blackhawks ease to a 5-2 win at home to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Captain Jonathan Toews scored twice and defensive players Michal Roszival and Niklas Hjlamarsson had two points apiece for the Blackhawks, who remain third in the Central Division, eight points behind Nashville.

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