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Rangers Recap: Rangers fall to Canes 2-1 in OT, Rangers fought the post, and the post won

Have you ever in your life seen as many posts clang as they did in this one?

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Ray Whitney's goal at the 3:45 mark of overtime gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in the back end of a home-and-home set from Madison Square Garden.

Tom Kostopoulos had the other goal while Cam Ward made 27 saves for the Hurricanes, who bounced back from a 2-1 loss at home against the Rangers on Thursday.

Marian Gaborik had the lone goal for New York while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 shots in the loss for the Rangers, who have dropped three of their last four.

"I thought we generated offense," said New York coach John Tortorella. "I thought some of our best chances we shot wide, let alone the four or five posts we hit. We have to start scoring goals."

In the extra session, Whitney had the puck at the left point and brought it down low. He dished the puck behind the net to Matt Cullen, who sent it back out front and Whitney snapped it past Lundqvist for the win.

The Hurricanes broke a scoreless tie in the final minute of the second. Patrick Dwyer had the disc in the deep left boards and sent it to the slot. Jiri Tlusty's shot hit off a Ranger in front, but the puck came right back to the slot and Kostopoulos' wrister found the back of the net with 46 seconds left in the frame.

The Rangers made it a 1-1 game 9:08 into the third. Brandon Dubinsky had the puck at the right boards and threw a shot on net, but it hit off of a Carolina player. However, the disc went to the front where Gaborik backhanded it past Ward for his 27th goal of the season.

The Rangers host Boston on Monday...Carolina plays in Nashville on Thursday...The Rangers have taken two of the three games with Carolina this season...Neither team scored on the power play with both sides having four chances.

Notes and Quotes after the jump.......

  • The Rangers were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, in overtime today at Madison Square Garden in the second game of their home-and-home set.
  • The Blueshirts are now 19-17-5 (43 pts.) on the season, including an 8-10-3 mark at home; the Rangers have recorded points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2).
  • Marian Gaborik tallied the game-tying goal at 9:08 of the third period; he has now recorded four goals and 10 points in the last eight games.
  • Brandon Dubinsky recorded one assist and a game-high six shots in 23:49 of icetime; he has now tallied seven points (four goals and three assists) in the last six games, and is one point shy of 100 career NHL points.
  • Erik Christensen notched one assist and won a team-high 11 of 17 (65%) faceoffs; he tallied three points (one goal and two assists) in the home-and-home set against Carolina.
  • Captain Chris Drury blocked a season-high, six shots; Michael Del Zotto delivered a team-high five hits.
  • Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 17 shots while making his 15th straight start, one shy of his career-high; he has now held opponents to two or fewer goals in 11 of the last 14 games.
  • The Rangers return to action on Jan. 4, when they will face-off against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in an Original Six matchup; prior to the game, the team’s morning skate is scheduled for 10:40 a.m. at the MSG Training Center; the Blueshirts defeated the Bruins, 1-0, in their first meeting of the season on Nov. 1; the game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.


John Tortorella on getting opportunities…:

I thought we generated offense. I thought some of our best chances we shot wide, let alone the four or five posts we hit. We have to start to…we can’t be satisfied with generating scoring chances. We have to start scoring goals. We defend again. We held them to single digits chances against. It is something we have worked on. We generate some offense but we simply don’t score. You try to stay patient but the bottom line is that we have to start scoring in these type of games. We lose a point because we simply don’t bury a couple of our chances. It shouldn’t be going into overtime.”

Marian Gaborik on today’s game…:

We have to be stronger. We have an edge in every game if it goes to the power play. We played hard, we played physical. We definitely outplayed them. It’s just too bad this was the outcome.”

Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game…:

It’s a fast game and the difference between winning and losing is so small. Today, we could have killed this game but we didn’t. It’s definitely frustrating not to win this hockey game.”

Final thoughts:

  • I'm not sure at this point how Chris Higgins is still in the lineup, the Rangers have tried just about everything to get him scoring, and it hasn't worked. Yes, he is tough in the corners, and fights for the puck, but the Rangers brought him here to score goals, and he isn't doing it. Maybe a game or two up in the press box will help. Nothing else has.
  • After the game, I said "great, we just lost to the worst team in hockey". Then I couldn't help but wonder if the Canes were thinking "Nice win, but all we did was beat the worst team in hockey"
  • The Rangers have now finished a 9 game stretch against the bottom feeders of the league with a record of 5-2-2, good enough for 12 points. Not bad, but consider the missed opportunities in those losses, and it could easily be 16 points.
  • In the four games the Rangers lost in this stretch, they scored a total of four goals.
  • January is going to be a tough tough month. Fifteen games in 28 days, including a trip out west. Boston and Montreal twice, Devils, Penguins, Coyotes, Flyers and Sens are just some of the teams the Rangers face this month.