The losing streak has officially been snapped.
The New York Rangers finally snapped their three game losing skid, and defeated the Carolina Hurricanes tonight by a final score of 4-3. Derick Brassard notched two points tonight, a goal and an assist, while Henrik Lundqvist was busy at the other end turning away 33 of the 36 shots he faced. It certainly got ugly at times, but thanks largely in part to Lundqvist, they were able to keep the Hurricanes from getting back into the game.
Despite the concerning play in their own zone, the Rangers actually got off to a quick start in this game, and went to work on an early power play. Brett Pesce took down Rick Nash in the corner just 1:04 in regulation, and the Rangers had a perfect opportunity to open this game with a bang. Sure enough, just five seconds after the puck dropped, Mats Zuccarello wired a shot past Cam Ward, and gave the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.
Rick Nash deserves a ton of credit on the goal as well, as he skated right to the front of the net, and didn't allow Ward to catch a glimpse of the shot. After coming up empty on a few more of their opportunities, the Rangers finally extended their lead to 2-0. The Rangers second goal also came on the power play, and Dan Boyle got it all started with a beautiful fake shot in the high slot. After getting the defenders to bite on his fake shot, Boyle slid the puck over to Oscar Lindberg, who ripped the puck into the empty net.
After a rather successful first period, the Hurricanes made the Rangers sweat a little bit, and pulled back within a goal just 1:40 into the second period. Jordan Staal was credited with the goal, and converted on a perfectly placed centering pass from Andrej Nestrasil, and beat Lundqvist cleanly. Shortly after that, Chris Kreider caught Cam Ward napping in his crease, and beat the Canes goalie from the goal line to make it a 3-1 game.
A little over 10 minutes later, Cam Ward made his presence known once again and turned the puck over on a clearing attempt from behind his net. Kevin Hayes the recipient of the pass after coming out of the penalty box, and moved in on a partial 2-on-1. Hayes found Chris Kreider all alone on the backdoor, and he shoveled the puck into the empty net to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
Nearing the end of the period, the Hurricanes made things interesting once again and Victor Rask pulled his team back within two goals. Henrik Lundqvist had trouble tracking the puck as Rask came streaking down the wing, and he was able to snap one past the King. To no one's surprise, the Hurricanes continued their strong play in the third period, and they eventually made it a one goal game.
Chris Terry came away with his third of the season after he slipped behind the Rangers defensemen, and tapped one past Lundqvist on the breakaway. The Rangers were able to withstand the late push by the Hurricanes, despite being pinned in their own zone at certain points. Lundqvist also stood tall in the crease, and helped the Rangers snap their three game losing streak.
The Rangers will have a big test coming up on Wednesday, as they head into Brooklyn for their first meeting of the season against the New York Islanders.