Rangers vs. Hurricanes: Oh Darling!

Michael Grabner picked up a hat trick in the 5-1 victory.

  • The New York Rangers got back into the win column once again as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 5-1 at Madison Square Garden. The final score saw the Rangers win by a margin of four, but the game was a lot closer than the box score would indicate.
  • Justin Williams scored just 56 seconds into the game on a fluke deflection, and momentarily there was concern that the game would go similarly to Henrik Lundqvist’s last start where he was pulled after allowing three first period goals.
  • Things eventually settled down and Hank stopped all 32 shots he faced after that, including a penalty shot by Jeff Skinner./
  • The awarded penalty shot was completely bogus, but it was good to see Lundqvist come up big in a key situation to maintain the Rangers’ 2-1 lead.
  • David Desharnais got his name onto the score sheet for the second game in a row by capitalizing on a puck that was botched badly by Carolina Hurricanes’ netminder Scott Darling. /
  • The goal got the Rangers back into the game; from that point on things starting looking the Blueshirts’ way.
  • Michael Grabner added goals 11, 12 and 13 on the evening, two of which coming via an empty net. Grabner is actually only one goal away from tying Mark Messier for the most empty net goals in Rangers history, and he’s played in 596 fewer games./
  • Grabner’s first goal of the game stood as the game winner; it was on a perfectly executed play that was started by J.T. Miller (15) and setup by Kevin Shattenkirk (14). It came during a 4-on-4 situation and just 75 seconds after Desharnais’ game-tying goal./
  • It was also nice to see Paul Carey (2) get back on the score sheet, even though his goal was on the power play in garbage time. The power play was the result of an unsuccessful offside challenge by head coach Bill Peters on Grabner’s second empty netter. Carey picked up his second goal of the season and was assisted by Jimmy Vesey (4) and Brendan Smith (5)./
  • The Rangers will gladly take the two points and the win, but this was hardly a convincing one. The first goal of the game was an absolute gift on the power play and Grabner scored two empty net goals. If you take those away, the Rangers scored two “real” goals on 21 shots. There are going to be games like this over the course of the season, but playing this type of hockey isn’t a surefire recipe for success.
  • All I am saying is that the Rangers need to continue improving their 5-on-5 play, especially with the power play in a bit of a slump. In the last nine games heading into tonight the power play was 3/21, which is a huge drop from the torrid start at the beginning of the season. What makes matters worse is Mika Zibanejad’s injury, as he’s been a key driver on the man-advantage unit.
  • The Rangers are off Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and square off vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh./