It may not have been pretty at times, but a win is a win.
The New York Rangers finally put an end to their three game losing streak, and defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in the shootout. Rick Nash scored the only goal in the shootout, and Henrik Lundqvist turned away Ryan Murphy in the final round to preserve the win. However, the Rangers still appeared to have some issues with the breakout from their own end, and luckily for them, it didn't cost them this time around.
Another thing that was concerning was the lack of controlled zone entries by the Rangers, and practically every time down the ice they wound up dumping the puck in. The Rangers bread and butter last year was their speed off the rush, and thus far, we haven't really seen that type of Rangers team. There have been glimpses here and there, but not nearly as much as they need to be a successful hockey team. It is still early, and Alain Vigneault is a very good coach, so I expect that they will turn the corner here eventually.
This game was pretty dry in terms of action for a majority of the first half, and then things finally took a turn for the worst. After two failed attempts on the power play, the Rangers gave the Hurricanes some room to breathe, and they pounced on the opportunity. With just over three minutes remaining in the second period, Chris Terry gave the Hurricanes their first and only lead of the night. I'm not entirely sure if the puck took a deflection in front, or whether Lundqvist just had a terrible read on the puck, but whatever it was, the Rangers found themselves down once again.
Unlike the prior three games, however, the Rangers found a way to squeeze their way back into the game. Anton Kuhdobin was simply amazing the entire game, and probably bailed the Hurricanes out more than a handful of times throughout the game. It wasn't until the midway point of the third period that the Rangers finally got themselves on the board with the game tying goal.
Derick Brassard came away the goal, as Dan Girardi's point shot took a double deflection off of Mats Zuccarello, and then ticked off Brassard's stick before flipping in behind Kuhdobin. After numerous failed opportunities, it was nice to finally see the puck luck break in the Rangers favor, and it appeared to give them a little jump. The had a handful of chances later on in the third period, and then again in overtime, but this one needed to be settled in the shootout.
Rick Nash wound up scoring the only goal in the shootout on a pretty forehand to backhand move at the top of the crease, before tucking it under Kuhdobin who was flailing in his crease. Henrik Lundqvist turned away the final shooter, and lead the Rangers to just their second win in five games.
The San Jose Sharks are next up on the schedule, as they are set to visit Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening. The Rangers will definitely need to be a lot better than they were tonight.