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Rangers vs. Hurricanes: Rangers Fall 4-3 in Final Meeting for First Place

Ex-Rangers rack up the points in this last matchup that clinched the division for the Canes.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers hosted the Carolina Hurricanes for the final time of the season Tuesday night, to further determine the layout of the upcoming playoffs for both teams. The Canes needed a win to secure first place and the Rangers would narrow down their potential first round opponents either way.

Prior to puck drop, the Rangers honored Chris Kreider with the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, given to the Rangers player who goes above and beyond the call of duty, per the fans. It comes as no shock that Kreider, who was also nominated for the Masterson this week, and leads the league in power play goals earned this title.

1st Period

The period started off fast, with a breakaway opportunity for Zibanejad almost immediately. Nemeth and Niederrieter got into a quick tussle that didn’t amount to much but began the spice level that would last through the game. Vatrano took a penalty early at the hands of former Ranger, Tony DeAngelo, who shares his jersey number, and was treated to a flurry of boo’s from the Garden faithful. The Rangers, however killed off the penalty with ease, even getting a scoring chance.

The Hurricanes got another power play in the first that only escalated the heat brewing between the two teams. The period ended with no score though.

2nd Period

The Rangers opened the period with a quick power play, after a penalty on Staal that Brind’Amour was not a fan of. This was quickly killed off and followed up by...another Rangers power play. This time a tripping call on Martin Necas. Kreider nearly got another power play goal on a deflection in, but it was stopped.

Vincent Trocheck (21) - Brady Skjei (28) & Nino Niederreiter (20) - 7:05

Finally, Carolina opened the scoring almost halfway through the game after a mishap left K’Andre Miller without a stick, and a great pass by Skjei.

It was announced after this that both Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp were removed from the game without reason.

Jordan Martinook (5) - Derek Stepan (9) & Martin Necas (25) - 13:48

Martinook gets the goal as he deflected in a shot by Stepan off of his neck.

Immediately after this goal, Goodrow and Cole dropped the gloves, resulting in offsetting five minute fighting calls.

Chris Kreider (52) - Frank Vatrano (14) - 16:56

Kreider broke the shutout with his fifty second goal of the season, on a great backhand move. This goal tied Adam Graves for second place in the Rangers single-season scoring record and made this game 2-1.

Tuevo Teravainen (21) - Vencent Trocheck (29) - Brady Skjei (29) 18:19

The Canes were able to give it right back with this goal to make it 3-1.

Everyone was a little confused but ultimately, Fox and Niederreiter headed to the box for a pair of roughing penalties that will extend into the third period. DeAngelo, Reaves, and Miller had some words to exchange at the end of the period as well, leading up to an eventful third period.

3rd Period

Panarin and Copp didn’t return for the third period either, with no word of what happened to them.

Sebastian Aho (37) - Seth Jarvis (22) & Jacob Slavin (38) PPG - 0:32

Aho opened the scoring for the third period early to make it 4-1 and take hold of the momentum.

The game quieted down a lot more after this goal until much later in the period.

Jacob Trouba (11) - K’Andre Miller (13) & Mika Zibanejad (52) - 13:12

Trouba helped close the gap in scoring with this shot from the point, that deflected in off of Jesper Fast in front. This goal made it 4-2 with under ten to go in regulation.

Alexis Lafreniere (18) - Chris Kreider (25) & Adam Fox (62) - 18:58

With just over a minute to go, Lafreniere made it a game with a late goal to pull the score to 4-3 which is how the game would end.

The Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night before ending their season on Friday, at home against the Capitals.