NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Carolina
(Thursday, February 15th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 4, Carolina 1
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Michael Nylander and Karel Rachunek each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak in Carolina, posting a 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes.
The Rangers had not won on the Hurricanes' home ice since Dec. 31, 2002, with an 0-5-0 mark during the stretch.
Pascal Dupuis and Brendan Shanahan also scored for the Rangers, who were coming off four days' rest and have now won three straight to move within three points of Toronto, Montreal and the New York Islanders, who are tied the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for New York, which scored on all three of its power play opportunities.
Andrew Ladd had the lone tally for Carolina, which had won three of its last four coming in. The Hurricanes also lost more than the contest, as right winger Justin Williams and defenseman Bret Hedican both left with injuries and did not return. Hedican suffered a concussion, while Williams has an upper body ailment, putting in jeopardy his streak of 147 consecutive games played.
Cam Ward surrendered all four goals on 27 shots faced for Carolina.
A power-play tally sparked the Rangers to a 1-0 lead in the first period. In 3-on-1 coverage, Jaromir Jagr came streaking through the left circle and managed to slide a cross-ice feed to Nylander, who was just off the netminder's left side and wristed the puck past Ward with 1:14 remaining in the period.
Carolina was quick to net the equalizer, as Scott Walker tore through the neutral zone and dished to Eric Staal. The crafty center then pushed through a couple of defensemen, sliding the disc to Ladd, who was ahead of the play and beat a sliding Lundqvist on the stick-side with 30 seconds left in the stanza.
"I think it was a big goal to be able to come back and make it 1-1," said Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette. "To be honest, I thought they had the jump on us in the battles. Their skill passes, and the sharpness of their passes, the execution on the power play, breakouts in general as a team - they were just cleaner and crisper than we were. Our passes were off, we were off- sides, sloppy. Today I think we played pretty sloppy."
Another man-advantage resulted in another tally, putting the Blueshirts back on top, 2-1, in the second. Rachunek picked up his fourth goal of the season, rifling a long slapshot from the point that tore through traffic in front of the crease and over the left shoulder of Ward at 5:40.
New York doubled its lead later on, as Dupuis notched his first goal as a Ranger, and 11th of the season, with 3:41 remaining in the period. Matt Cullen took the initial shot from along the left boards, and Dupuis managed to deflect the puck past Ward at 16:19.
The Rangers broke the game open in the third period, claiming a 4-1 lead on another power play score. From a sharp angle off Ward's right side, Shanahan was able to corral the puck off a slapshot by Rachunek and snap it past the netminder at 4:01.
"I'm not so sure we've finally started playing as a team, but we certainly played as a team tonight," said Rangers head coach Tom Renney. "You can't win by going backwards, you can't win by backing up. You win by moving the puck forward, by attacking, by forechecking, putting the pressure on the other team, and by everyone participating."
Carolina managed just six shots on goal in the final period.
Carolina forward Erik Cole is day-to-day with a lower-body injury that has caused him to miss three straight games...In 63 career games against Carolina, Jagr has 30 goals and 37 assists...Williams was playing in his 400th career NHL game...Carolina's Ray Whitney and Rod Brind'Amour both had five-game point streaks end...With 25 games remaining, the Rangers have more wins at this point in the season than they have had in any non-playoff seasons since 1997...Nylander extended his point streak to six games (3G, 5A)...Shanahan has four goals and four assists in his last eight games.
02/16 00:53:34 ET