The New York Rangers came away with their third straight victory tonight, with a well deserved 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. After falling behind early in the second, the Rangers found a way to fight back and dominate for the rest of the game.
The first period started off with a ton of speed coming from both teams. Each team had their fair share of chances, but neither team gave an inch. After a very fast paced first period, the game would head into the intermission with a 0-0 tie. Brandon Dubinsky took a late penalty which carried over into the second period.
Just as the penalty was about to expire, Jeff Skinner ripped a slap shot from the high slot that beat Martin Biron. Biron got a piece of it, but it wasn't enough to keep it out of the net, and the Hurricanes took an early 1-0 lead. The Rangers amped up the pressure following the goal, and found a way to get back into the game shortly after.
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Artem Anisimov was able to put the Rangers on the board with a terrific shot from just on top of the left circle. Derek Stepan made a great play along the boards to make an outlet pass to Gaborik, who dropped the puck back to Anisimov. Anisimov finished it off with a great wrist shot that beat Cam Ward over the the left shoulder.
Just six minutes later, Marian Gaborik would put the Rangers ahead with his 30th goal of the season. Derek Stepan chopped at the puck, which was to the right of Cam Ward, and it popped up into the air. The puck wound up falling behind Ward, where Gaborik got a stick on the loose puck and knocked it into the net. This is the seventh time in Gaborik's career that he has put up 30 goals in a season.
It also put Gaborik over a point-per-game with 21 points in his last 21 games; he is having himself quite the season, after a very disappointing one last season. After putting together a very energetic second period, the Rangers came out even better in the third period.
Just 1:57 after the opening face-off, Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust connected with a pretty passing play to put the Rangers up 3-1. The puck wound up bouncing off of the linesmen, where Ruslan Fedotenko sprung Prust and Boyle on an eventual 2-on-1. Boyle had great patience to wait out the defensemen, and slip it over to Prust for the tap in.
Shortly after that, it was noted that Michael Del Zotto suffered a hip injury in the second period, and would not return to the game. At the time, the Rangers held a 3-1 lead, so it could have just been a precautionary move to hold him out for the game. Del Zotto originally agitated his hip against the Buffalo Sabres when he hit the side of the net awkwardly, that left him in some pain. It is unknown if the injury is a result of the past, or whether it is a brand new injury.
The Rangers did a great job to shut down the Hurricanes for basically most of the third period. John Mitchell would eventually take a double-minor for high-sticking that sent the Canes to late power play in the third period. Jay Harrison would find the back of the net with 40 seconds remaining in the game, and it cut the Rangers lead to just a single goal.
However, the Rangers were able to hold off the Hurricanes for the final 20 seconds and came away with a well-deserved 3-2 win. The Rangers will play the second game of the back-to-back tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is projected that Henrik Lundqvist will return in between the pipes, but only time will tell.