The Rangers defeat Washington 3-1 on Saturday night. Mika Zibanejad scored the game-deciding goal less than four minutes in the third period. Zibanejad made a brilliant play chasing down Brendan Dillon, hacking the defenseman’s stick before shoving him off the puck and scoring short side.

“We got the puck out and I was basically just chasing their D and trying to stay on him,” said Zibanejad. “I got a push, I don’t know if he got caught in a rut or something, he fell, and I was able to get the puck and try get it on net. It went in, so it’s nice.“It obviously feels nice when you can contribute offensively.

He has contributed 10 points in his past five games.

Coach Kris Knoblauch improved to 2-1 and will continue to coach through Friday at Philadelphia.

“The guys were positive, especially the leaders were talking and just wanted to make sure we finished this one out,” Knoblauch said. “I don’t think there was panic at all.”

Rookie Alexis Lafreniere was benched most of the night with a season low 7:53 and 11:50 the night before. Knoblauch said the benching was only “miscommunication”.

“It’s mismanagement of the bench and not realizing the situation,” Knoblauch admitted. “I did want to keep him away from their top line – but other than that I wish I would’ve played him more. There was a lot of D-zone face-offs for us and it was unfortunate that he missed out on some shifts.”

Pavel Buchnevich opened the scoring with a great pass from Adam Fox. Buchnevich now has 14 points in the last 10 games.

Keith Kinnaid bounched back well from his five-goal performance Monday night. As he made 28 saves.

Rangers were 4-4 on the penalty while allowing only 4 shots on goal.

Blueshirts host Buffalo on Monday night.