The New York Rangers are on top of the eastern conference standings and they showed why on Tuesday night against the Canes. Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards had 3 points each to help the Rangers top the Canes 4-2 in front of more than 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden. Gaborik started the scoring early for the blue shirts as he took a lucky bounce off of the end wall and deposited it past Cam Ward to make it 1-0 Rangers at just 3:02 in. Dan Girardi and John Mitchell received the assists on the play. The Canes battled back in the period and evened out the shots, but the Rangers took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Shots on goal were 10-9 in favor of the Rangers after the first.
The scoring was ramped up in the second period as there were four goal scored within the final 10 minutes of the frame. Brad Richards got the next two goals for the Rangers as the Canes seemed to look lost for periods of time and got worn down by the blue shirts. Richards’ goals were at 10:12 and 13:11. Carolina would finally get it going on the power play, though, as Tim Brent went to the dirty area in front of the net and knocked one in past Martin Biron at 14:44. Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner assisted on the power play goal, Brent’s 10th goal of the season. Not too much time passed when Drayson Bowman cashed in on a lucky bounce to bring the Canes within one at 15:16. Brandon Sutter and Patrick Dwyer received the assists on Bowman’s third goal of the season. The Rangers still led in shots in the second period, 12-11, but the deficit was only one goal as both teams headed into the second intermission.
Carolina came out strong in the third period, peppering Biron with several good chances, but none were getting by the net minder. It wasn’t until the 13-minute mark until the Rangers capitalized on a turnover behind the Hurricanes’ net as Carl Hagelin took the wrap around and deposited a puck past Cam Ward to re-gain the two goal cushion for the home team. Both teams exchanged chances, especially as the Canes pulled Ward for the sixth attacker with about two minutes left, but nothing else would get past Biron as the Rangers took this one 4-2.
- Justin Faulk played 28+ minutes tonight. Against the Rangers. As a 19-year-old. If he’s not a finalist for the Calder, I’ll be floored.
- The only Canes that were better than even for the night were Drayson Bowman, Patrick Dwyer and Brandon Sutter (+1 each).
- The Canes dominated in the face-off circle for the night (65% to 35%). All Hurricanes players who took face-offs were above 50% for the night: Jeff Skinner (100%), Tim Brent (83%), Brandon Sutter (67%), Eric Staal (64%), Jussi Jokinen (56%).
- Carolina was 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
- Cam Ward didn’t have his best night as I’m sure he would have wanted a goal or two back. He stopped 24 shots on 28 attempts (.857 save percentage).
The Canes are finished playing the best in the east and will move on to play the best in the west as they take on the St. Louis Blues Thursday night at the newly crowned PNC Arena. Make sure to check back tomorrow for a game preview! Until then, check us out on Facebook at CardiacCane. Also, be sure to follow Cardiac Cane writers at: @CardiacCaneFS, @Esbee92, @peacelovepuck, @caniaccaz and @caniac176