The New York Rangers had their three-game winning streak snapped this evening as they were defeated 6-3 by the surging Carolina Hurricanes. New York had a pretty miserable start to the game, and as a result, they put themselves in an early hole that was hard to dig out of. Alexandar Georgiev got the surprising start in goal for the Rangers this evening on the opening game of a back-to-back, and played pretty well given the circumstances.
After being a step behind the Hurricanes right from the opening faceoff, the Rangers didn’t do themselves any favors with an early penalty by Jacob Trouba. That gave the Hurricanes their first man-advantage opportunity of the evening, and they took full advantage. A point shot by Tony DeAngelo found its way through traffic, and Vincent Trocheck converted at the top of the crease on the deflection.
A few minutes later, the Hurricanes marched right back down the ice and converted on a 2-on-1 rush to double up their lead late in the first period. Sebastian Aho created the chance with speed through the neutral zone, and put a pass right on the tape of Seth Jarvis as he was cutting to the net. The played happened so quickly that Alexandar Georgiev never had a chance to react, and the Rangers quickly found themselves down by a pair of goals in this game.
The second period was even more damning for the Rangers, as Jesper Fast quickly put the Hurricanes up 3-0 at the 3:33 mark of the second period. Thankfully, the Rangers finally stopped the bleeding a few minutes later as Mika Zibanejad rifled home his 15th goal of the season on the power play. Artemiy Panarin setup Zibanejad with a beautiful pass from just inside the blue line, and #93 absolutely bombed a shot over the shoulder of Frederik Andersen.
Unfortunately, the Rangers would be burned two more times late in the second period with goals coming from Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter. Alexandar Georgiev didn’t receive much help in front of his net, and the Hurricanes went into the intermission with a commanding 5-1 lead.
Despite a four-goal deficit, the Rangers weren’t going down without a fight and turned it into high gear throughout the third period. Chris Kreider quickly got the Rangers on the board early in the final frame with a power play goal at the top of the crease. Exactly 1:14 later, Greg McKegg registered his first goal of the season after cashing in a Ryan Reaves rebound in front of the net. The Rangers looked poised to make late push in this game, and even though they had several golden opportunities, they just couldn’t complete the comeback.
With under three minutes remaining in the game, Alexis Lafreniere was whistled down for a slashing penalty and all but ended any hope of a late push. Tony DeAngelo registered one final goal for the Hurricanes on the ensuing man-advantage, and gave Carolina 6-3 win in this game.
The Rangers had an extremely strong third period, but their previous 40 minutes didn’t do them any favors in this one. While the goaltending decision was a surprising one, I don’t really think it made much of a difference in this game. The Rangers were lackluster around their net the entire night, and Georgiev played pretty well in attempt to keep them in the game. Following tonight’s loss, the Rangers will have a quick turnaround as they head back to New York for a meeting with the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow night.