Chris Kreider scores 300th NHL goal twice for Rangers against Coyotes

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kreider not only scored his 300th NHL goal for the New York Rangers in their wild 8-5 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, but he actually reached the milestone twice.

Wait. What?

That’s right. Kreider entered the game sitting on 299 goals after scoring Thursday in a 3-2 shootout win against the Colorado Avalanche. Then he scored late in the second period and again in the third Saturday against the Coyotes.

But the popular 32-year-old forward exited Mullett Arena afterward with an even 300 goals in his NHL career.

That was actually fitting considering the crazy circumstances in this crazy back-and-forth victory, New York’s fifth in a row.

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Chis Kreider scores 300th goal twice in Rangers win against Coyotes

NHL: New York Rangers at Arizona Coyotes
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kreider appeared to achieve the coveted milestone at 16:38 of the second period with the Rangers leading the Coyotes 3-2. Parked right outside the crease, he banged home a rebound and the celebration was on. Kreider was handed the puck as a memento and he was feted on the bench by his appreciative teammates.

But hold on. The goal was reviewed and the on-ice call eventually overturned when it was determined Jack Roslovic interfered with Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka.

Kreider disgustedly flipped the puck back on to the ice. It no longer held any value to him since he was back to 299 goals.

However, he didn’t need to wait long to officially become the third player in Rangers history to score 300 goals. At 5:45 of the third period, Kreider skated in front of Vejmelka to deflect a Ryan Lindgren shot into the net for a 4-3 Rangers lead and his unquestioned 300th goal.

That Kreider scored each of his goals — one that counted, one that didn’t — from within a few feet of the net is no surprise. That’s where he does his best work and where most of his 35 goals this season and a large chunk of his 300 since his rookie season in 2012-13 come from.

“Chris Kreider milestone. I thought he was probably our most dominant forward tonight, just the way he competed out there,” coach Peter Laviolette said while standing in the Arizona sunshine outside the arena postgame.

Only Hockey Hall of Famers Rod Gilbert (406) and Jean Ratelle (336) have scored more goals when wearing a Rangers sweater.

And Kreider is showing no signs of slowing down. He scored 52 goals two seasons ago, tying Adam Graves for second most in a single Rangers season, behind Jaromir Jagr, who had 54 in 2005-06. He scored 36 last season and should pass that total with eight games remaining this season.

He’s scored 20 or more goals nine times in the NHL. And he’s third all-time in Rangers history with 106 power-play goals, tied with Brian Leetch behind Camille Henry (116) and Gilbert (108).

Though it took him an extra few minutes and a second chance Saturday, that 300th goal cements Kreider as one of the all-time great New York Rangers.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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