After three straight dismal games, the Rangers righted the ship with two big points against a pretty bad Carolina Hurricanes club. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t what we would like to see on a regular basis, but it was two points, and that’s all that matters. Henrik Lundqvist was very sharp, finally returning to form after his defense failed him in the three previous games. Hank stopped 29 and then all three in the shootout.
The lone Rangers goal came from crashing the net, as Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard combined for a double deflection to tie the game in the third period. Rick Nash also had a strong game, which has come as no surprise this season. Hopefully this is a win the team can build on.
On to the goals:
Hurricanes 1, Rangers 0
Sometimes hockey happens. There were no defensive breakdowns here, just an unlucky deflection off Chris Terry’s shot that Hank didn’t see.
Rangers 1, Hurricanes 1
Zucc started this with a hard dump that Brassard was able to retrieve in the offensive zone. Brass and Chris Kreider worked down low until the puck squirted to Zucc, who got the puck to the point for Dan Girardi. Luck finally favored the Rangers here, as Girardi’s shot was deflected by both Zucc and Brassard for the tying goal.
With the last change, Alain Vigneault routinely got the Marc Staal/Kevin Klein duo out against the Jiri Tlusty-Riley Nash-Alex Semin line, while the Ryan McDonagh/Dan Girardi pair got Brad Malone, Brody Sutter, and Patrick Brown. That is something I find to be interesting. Semin is the best player for the Canes right now –due to all the injuries– so you would expect Girardi/McDonagh to get those shifts.
Also worth noting: Tanner Glass had two shifts in the third period, and none in overtime. Anthony Duclair had just one shift in the third and none in overtime. Matt Hunwick had four shifts in the third, and one in overtime.
The Rangers dominated the puck possession game in this one, which comes as no surprise. New York had a 53.5% Fenwick close advantage, and an overall 55.5% Fenwick advantage throughout the game. There was that one stretch in the second half of the first period that the Canes really pressed, but the Rangers weathered the storm and just took off from there. The only goal the Canes scored was off a deflection too.
After this much-needed win, the very good San Jose Sharks come to town on Sunday. That will be a very good test for the Rangers, to see if they can build on this win. For now, let’s enjot the win, even if it wasn’t the prettiest."Rangers right the ship against Carolina",