After falling to the Penguins on Sunday, the New York Rangers looked to finish their road trip on a positive note as they battled the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. Henrik Lundqvist was back in net for the Rangers while Curtis McElhinney got the start for Carolina.
The Rangers started on the right foot as in the first minute Anthony DeAngelo fired a shot from behind the net that McElhinney lost. This led to the puck sitting in the crease, but Jaccob Slavin got a stick on it before Pavel Buchnevich could get there. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Rangers, as Slavin did this twice in their previous matchup. A penalty came with 13 minutes left in the period as Brendan Smith cross checked Justin Williams in front of the net in retaliation as Williams decked Smith from behind seconds earlier. The best chance on the powerplay came with few seconds remaining as a Micheal Ferland tip hit the post. The next ten minutes were dry, as apart from a few wrap-arounds from Carolina no team threatened to score. However, as the Rangers were holding the puck to end the period, Brady Skjei turned it over, allowing Carolina an uncontested one-timer as the buzzer sounded.
After a slow start to the second period, which included a diving poke check by DeAngelo to stimy a Sebastian Aho breakaway, Carolina scored with 10 minutes remaining. Dougie Hamilton threw the puck in the crease where Jordan Martinook deflected it on net and finished his own rebound as Hank was out of position after the initial save. Seconds later, DeAngelo sprung Filip Chytil on a beautiful outlet pass. Chytil backhanded a puck on net that bounced in the air, and a streaking Connor Brickley chested the puck into the net. Despite being called no goal at first, the replay confirmed Brickley’s first goal as a Ranger. In the following minute, Aho was again denied on a breakaway, this time by Lundqvist, and Buchnevich rocketed a shot off the crossbar. The next big chance came on the Rangers power play, spurred by a Justin Faulk hook, as Mika Zibanejad slipped Kevin Hayes a pass past the defenders, but he lost control allowing McElhinney to make an easy save.
Forty seconds into the third period Chris Kreider thought he scored on a rebound, but was given a penalty for goalie interference instead. After the penalty kill, Skjei and DeAngelo both drew penalties in close succession. The Rangers couldn’t capitalize on the powerplay, but scored two seconds after. DeAngelo passed across the ice to Buchnevich, who’s shot bounced to Jimmy Vesey first and Vladislav Namestnikov second. Namestnikov was able to finish as the Rangers went up one with 14 minutes remaining.
Despite getting battered in the final seven minutes, the Rangers held on to the lead. The best performances came from Anthony DeAngelo and Henrik Lundqvist. DeAngelo nearly set up a goal in the first minute, while making the initial pass to set up both Rangers goals. He contributed on defense also, breaking up Aho’s breakaway and drawing a penalty. Lundqvist was spectacular all night, making 43 saves including an acrobatic, diving save on Williams with under two minutes to go. The Rangers are next up at home on Thursday against the Wild.