New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin makes a save with New Jersey Devils center Jesper Boqvist threatening and Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek defending in the second period Tuesday night at Newark, N.J. Kathy Willens/Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves in posting his first NHL shutout and the New York Rangers opened a four-game series against the rival New Jersey Devils with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night.

Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin scored and Adam Fox had assists on both goals as New York improved to 10-4-3 since March 13. Pavel Buchnevich scored into an empty net with 28 seconds to play for the 20,000th goal in Rangers’ franchise history.

Mackenzie Blackwood had 17 saves as the young Devils fell to 2-7-2 in their last 11. Even the return of captain Nico Hischier from a broken nose that had sidelined him since Feb. 27 didn’t help.

The 25-year-old Shesterkin was on his game from the start, stopping a breakaway by Jesper Bratt in the opening 10 seconds and another by Devils top goal-scorer Miles Wood in the second period.

Zibanejad, who has 12 goals in his last 15 games scored on a breakaway at 7:02 of a wide-open first period. The speedy center took a pass in center ice, blew past the defense and beat Blackwood with a forehand over his glove hand.

After a very defensive middle period, Panarin gave the Rangers breathing room at 7:50 of the third with a goal from the left circle off a nice cross-ice pass by Filip Chytil.

Panarin’s goal came in his 100th game with the Rangers. It also gave him 138 points in those games, breaking the 100-game mark of 137 set by Mark Messier.

The teams will play again on Thursday and Saturday in New York and return to New Jersey on Sunday for the final game of their eight-game regular-season series. The Rangers lead the series 3-2, having won the last three in New Jersey.

CAPITALS 6, FLYERS 1: Anthony Mantha had two points in his Washington debut, Alex Ovechkin scored the 728th goal of his NHL career and the host Capitals won their third straight.

The East Division-leading Capitals went 3 for 3 on the power play as part of another offensive outburst. They routed the banged-up Boston Bruins 8-1 Sunday night on the eve of the trade deadline.

They gave up skilled young forward Jakub Vrana, a first-round pick and a second-rounder to get Mantha from Detroit in the hopes of better positioning themselves for another deep playoff run. So far, so good: Mantha picked up an assist on Tom Wilson’s goal in the first period, then showed off his shot in the second for his 12th of the season.

Ovechkin scored his team-leading 22nd in the third, beating Brian Elliott from his trademark spot inside the faceoff circle on the power play. The Capitals’ captain is now three back of Marcel Dionne for fifth on the career goals list.

FLAMES 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2: Johnny Gaudreau scored 36 seconds into overtime as Calgary won at Toronto.

Juuso Valimaki and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames. Gaudreau and Lindholm each added an assist, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 shots. Calgary won its second straight to pull six points behind Montreal for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist, Alexander Kerfoot also scored and John Tavares had two assists for the Maple Leafs, who lead the North by three points over Winnipeg.

David Rittich had 25 saves in his Toronto debut two days after being traded by the Flames.

PREDATORS 7, LIGHTNING 2: Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in a three-goal first period as host Nashville topped Tampa Bay for its fifth win in six games.

Josi also had an assist in the third. Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals and an assist, Rocco Grimaldi added a goal and an assist, and Tanner Jeannot and Mikael Granlund also scored. Ryan Johansen had two assists as Nashville salvaged a 2-6 mark in the season series.

Juuse Saros made 21 saves and improved to 9-2-0 in his last 11 starts.

Brayden Point had a power-play goal and Yanni Gourde also scored for Tampa Bay.

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