The Carolina Hurricanes were able to get back on the scoreboard against the New York Rangers, but Derek Stepan was able to triple that to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-1 win over the Canes at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. The loss extends the team’s losing streak to five games.
It seemed the Hurricanes came into the game motivated as they controlled possession for the first eight minutes of the game, but Carl Hagelin scored on a 2-on-2 at 8:26 of the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The Canes continued to play well into the second period, but Henrik Lundqvist shut the door before Hagelin scored his second of the game when he sprung out of the penalty box to pick up a dumped-puck and squeezed the puck through Justin Peter’s five-hole.
The first and second goals were ones Peters should have had. They weren’t exceptional shots and came at times when the team was controlling play and needed the intensity to continue.
Later in the second, Ryan Murphy and Manny Malhotra took bad penalties to give the Rangers two power-plays in a row. Murphy tried a low hip-check on Derek Dorsett, that was simply a cheap hit to make. The rookie got down on his knees to send the Ranger forward flailing over him.
Then during the penalty kill, Manny Malhotra cross-checked Michael Del-Zotto right in front of Lundqvist to continue the Rangers’ power-play. Malhotra is a smart player and had to know that was a bad penalty to take so far away from the Canes net.
Stepan scored on Malhotra’s penalty to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
The Hurricanes got their only goal on the power-play in the second period as Andrej Sekera snapped a shot from the point that may have glanced off Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman, and went past Lundqvist.
The score came with 47 seconds left in the second and gave Carolina momentum into the third period. It showed as the team got its best chances at the beginning of the third, but just like the first stanza, a Ranger forward, Stepan this time, scored to squash the Canes’ level of play.
Stepan scored again in the third on a deflection off a Hurricanes defenseman to beat Peters.
The score suggests a horrible game by the Hurricanes, but it wasn’t that awful. They had chances, but Peters couldn’t bail them out. On the other hand, the Canes didn’t exactly to deserve to win, but at least the offense got chances.