FINAL SCORE: New York Rangers:4 Carolina Hurricanes: 2
First Period: For most of this period it seemed the Rangers had dominated most of the play. They scored two goals early on, both of which were immediately called off and deemed inconclusive by the people in the “war room” in Toronto. They also had two power play opportunities, both of which were not capitalized and looked all around sloppy. Through the first period, the big name that stuck out was Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin, stopping everything he faced. However, with just over two minutes to go, the Hurricanes jumped on an opportunity caused by a defensive collapse, and Jordan Staal came into the zone and launched a wrist shot over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, giving the Hurricanes the 1-0 lead as the period came to it’s end. Down by one goal, but leading in shots 15-7, the Rangers looked to bounce back in the second period.
SECOND PERIOD: This period, much like the one that came before it saw the Rangers dominating the play for most of the time. Even with the three penalties they took, one by Carl Hagelin, and another soon followed by Brian Boyle which caused the team to have to kill a 5 on 3 penalty. The final penalty of the period coming from Daniel Carcillo. The Rangers had dozens of opportunities that they could not capitalize on as Khudobin was equal to every task. Looking for any source of offense from the team, head coach Alain Vigneault began to mix the lines around to get things going. However, his efforts were to no avail as the period came to it’s end and the Rangers were still down by one goal and tied in shots 11-11.
THIRD PERIOD: The last period of this game is one the Rangers and their fans were hoping would be very interesting. (Spoiler alert: it was). As the team searched to find the equalizer, Mats Zuccarello took a very untimely penalty and sent the Rangers to their fourth penalty kill of the game. However, after Rick Nash stole the puck and began flying up the left wing he found Ryan McDonagh trailing in high who scored his second shorthanded goal in as many games to tie the game at one. The shorthanded goal gave the Rangers life, but due to another defensive lapse Anton Stralman hooked Jeff Skinner on a breakaway which ultimately lead to the penalty shot goal that gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. A little over a minute later though, the Rangers responded right back, and Rick Nash scored to tie the game at two and keep his 20 goal per season streak alive. With play now going back and forth with neither team giving much breathing room, however Ron Hainsey and Brett Bellemore each took a delay of game penalty within thirty seconds of each other, and with that Derek Stepan scored on the two man advantage off a pass from Martin St. Louis giving him his first point as a New York Ranger. To seal the deal with only 41 seconds left in the game Hagelin backhanded in an empty net goal giving the Rangers the 4-2 lead that they closed out the game with.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1) Anton Khudobin – 43 saves
2) Rick Nash – Goal, assist
3) Derek Stepan – Game winning goal, assist
MY THREE STARS
1) Derek Stepan
2) Rick Nash
3) Ryan McDonagh