The New York Rangers won their second straight game this evening, and did so in dominating fashion, with a 6-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Following a 3-0 shutout victory against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, the Rangers came out with a similar effort tonight. The Rangers were without Ryan McDonagh as well, who is back in New York nursing an abdominal strain and will remain out of the lineup through at least Sunday.
In McDonagh’s absence, Steven Kampfer was inserted back into the lineup and picked up a primary assist in the third period. The Rangers came out absolutely flying to start this game and picked up an early goal just 52 seconds into the first period. J.T. Miller started the play by finding Brendan Smith cutting down the slot, who immediately fed the puck back over to Kreider on the far side.
Kreider had the entire net to shoot at with Scott Darling still on the other side of the net, and buried the puck to make 1-0 Rangers. Then, things got a little weird. Mika Zibanejad wound up scoring from the red line on a routine dump in and Scott Darling completely whiffed while attempting to catch the puck with his glove. While that goal absolutely stunned the Hurricanes, they were able to get one back a few minutes later with a power play goal coming from Sebastian Aho.
Nearly two minutes later, Paul Carey registered his first goal as a Ranger and slammed home a loose puck off to the right of the net. With the first period filled with goals, the second period was completely scoreless and the Rangers held a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Much like the first period, the Rangers scored just 20 seconds into the third on Chris Kreider’s second goal of the night.
Mats Zuccarello made an unreal cross-ice feed over to Kreider, and after being denied on the first shot attempt, Kreider tapped home his own rebound to make it a 4-1 game. Jesper Fast would close out the scoring for the Rangers with a pair of his goals coming off of beautiful setups from Kevin Hayes and Steven Kampfer. With Kreider and Fast both searching for hat tricks, the Rangers did their best to set both of them for the remainder of the game, but to no avail.
The Rangers were able to kill off the remaining eight minutes on the clock, and cashed in with their second consecutive victory. There was a lot to like about the Rangers tonight, their offense absolutely took off but more importantly, they played a great defensive game in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Being without Ryan McDonagh is obviously a huge blow, but the Rangers more than made up for it in his absence tonight.
I’ll let Zuccarello close this one out for us tonight.