Kreider scored his first two goals within 4 1/2 minutes in the first period, handing the Rangers a 2-0 lead, and added his third in the final period as New York won in the return of former Coach John Tortorella to Madison Square Garden.
Tortorella was hired to guide the Canucks following his dismissal from the Rangers in May.
Ex-Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault was hired in June to coach the Rangers.
Rick Nash and Michael Del Zotto scored and Cam Talbot stopped a career-high 35 shots for New York, which was coming off a 3-2 road loss to Boston Friday.
Roberto Luongo started in net but was lifted in the second period after yielding three goals on 10 shots.
Eddie Lack entered and stopped 12-of-14 the rest of the way.