The Canes Storm into 2024 with a Dominant 6-1 Win on Broadway Against the Rangers

The power play leads the way early before the Canes pull away in the third period to hand the division-leading Rangers a lopsided loss at MSG.
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

The Carolina Hurricanes enter 2024 on a roll. They're playing some of their best hockey of the season, closing last year with wins against Nashville, Montreal, and Toronto to tie their longest win streak of the season. The special teams are clicking at a high rate, too. To start the new year, the Canes traveled to Broadway for a battle with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The lineup got a minor tweak as Jesper Fast was announced to miss the game after taking a high hit from Noah Gregor in Toronto. Brendan Lemieux would take his spot on the fourth line. In the net, the Canes and Rangers would send out their Russian netminders, with Pyotr Kochetkov and Igor Shesterkin starting for their respective teams.

With the Hurricanes dominating on special teams in December, it was good to see it carry over into January. Jack Drury struck less than two minutes into the contest on the power play with a wicked shot from the slot that went off the post and in to give Carolina the early advantage. Andrei Svechnikov nearly doubled it right after, but Igor Shesterkin recovered to keep it 1-0. The penalty kill also did its job, killing an early Rangers power play.

The Rangers carried a large shot advantage for most of the first period but weren't able to solve Pyotr Kochetkov. Jacob Trouba took a penalty with under a minute left in the period, allowing the Canes to double their lead. Sebastian Aho, who drew early boos from the Rangers fans after an incident during their last meeting, made a beautiful pass to Andrei Svechnikov as he buried a one-timer to send the Canes into the break up by two.

The penalty kill survived another early New York power play, but the Rangers would find the back of the net courtesy of a perfect bounce. It was going to take something special to beat Pyotr Kochetkov, and Chris Kreider was able to get his stick on a shot from the point by Jacob Trouba to cut the Canes' lead in half. It was a perfect tip, and it allowed the Rangers to find some life.

The response from Carolina was swift. Igor Shesterkin, who misplayed the puck several times in the game, tried to sweep an errant pass from his defense into the corner. Jordan Staal was the first player to the puck, and he found Jordan Martinook alone at the front of the net. Martinook lifted a shot past Shesterkin to regain the two-goal advantage just over two minutes after the Rangers got on the board. The Canes withstood New York's push to get into intermission in the same spot they started the period in.

After killing a penalty that carried into the third period, the Canes wasted no time extending their lead. Aided by Jordan Martinook's presence in front of the net, Jalen Chatfield pushed one past Igor Shesterkin to make it 4-1. Less than 90 seconds later, Andrei Svechnikov powered his way to the front of the net to bury his second goal of the game, turning it into a rout. To add insult to injury, former Ranger Brendan Lemieux made a beautiful pass to Michael Bunting, who worked around Shesterkin's poke check for the Canes' sixth goal. That's where things would end, as the Canes started the new year with a 6-1 statement win.

By all accounts, the Canes dominated at every strength. The power play picked up where it left off in Toronto by scoring twice in the first period. The penalty kill kept the league's best power play scoreless in three attempts. The Canes weren't amazing at even strength through 40 minutes but scored three times in the third period at 5-on-5. What makes it even more amazing is that the Canes did it at Madison Square Garden. It's not like they haven't ever won at MSG, but the numbers aren't great. Plus, the Rangers entered the game 12-4-0 at home with a +12 goal differential. The Canes didn't seem to care, and it showed.

The individual efforts were solid, too. Twelve players found the scoresheet for the Canes in the win. Andrei Svechnikov has at least two points in each of his last five games. Sebastian Aho extended his point streak to five games. Jordan Martinook scored and worked through a tough hit in the second period to provide some help in the third. Brady Skjei started 2024 with three assists against his former team. Jack Drury had a multi-point night. The fourth line combined for a goal. Pyotr Kochetkov outplayed a former Vezina winner. It was dominance in every way imaginable.

Defensively, the Hurricanes prevented the Rangers' stars from taking over. Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider combined during a partial line change, but the rest of the team was largely silent. Mika Zibanejad was limited to one shot. They forced Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere to try to make plays, which didn't lead to goals. Adam Fox might've been mentioned a handful of times during the broadcast. Even with New York controlling the matchups, the Canes found themselves on the right side of the game.

With their win streak now at a season-high four games, the Canes will finish this road trip in Washington, D.C., against the Washington Capitals on Friday night. They'll complete a back-to-back on Saturday at PNC Arena against the St. Louis Blues, beginning a home-heavy portion of their schedule. They'll have four days off between the St. Louis game and their next one on January 11 against Anaheim.