The Canes fell behind early again as Brandon Prust scored just 2:08 into the game. The home team battled back though and an unlikely hero tied it up. Jay Harrison found himself alone in front of Henrik Lundqvist and roofed it perfectly over the New York goalie to make it 1-1 before the end of the first.
The suddenly offensive minded Harrison also picked up a key assist later in the game and he was tied with a team high three shots on goal in the last contest against the Devils.
Both teams fought through almost an entire scoreless second period before the Rangers took the lead again with 14 seconds left on the clock, just as a 5-on-3 advantage was wrapping up. Erik Cole and Joni Pitkanen were both in the box, Pitkanen for hooking and Cole for tossing the puck over the glass.
The third period started out all Canes as Jussi Jokinen scored two straight goals.
At 3:32, just as a New York penalty expired, he put in a nice shot off of a Jamie McBain rebound, and three minutes later he took a loose puck in front of Lundqvist and slipped it in the net to give the home team their first lead of the game.
Cole started the play by doing a nice job winning a battle along the boards, then got the puck to Harrison, who knew what to do with it as he rifled it on net.
After that, it was pretty much all New York though as they kept Cam Ward under siege most of the rest of the period. The Canes were able to break out for a couple of odd man rushes, but when they failed to score, the Rangers took it back in the Carolina zone and held it for a long period again.
Finally, Wojtek Wolski put one past Ward on a weird play as the puck deflected in. The goal was originally given to Mike Sauer, but after review was awarded to Wolski, who was also the lone shooter in the shootout to score.
The Rangers took the two points and will keep seventh place for at least another day.
The Hurricanes should've, would've, and could've taken two points in this one, but will settle for one important point which might just come in handy down the stretch.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- This was also a battle between the two top hitting teams in the NHL. The Rangers won the hit parade as well, 32-25. Tim Gleason led his team with six. Harrison was next with four.
- The Canes were outshot in every period except for overtime. It was 18-12 in the first, 11-7 in the second, and 14-10 in the third. The Canes had a 4-3 advantage in OT. The totals, Rangers 46, Hurricanes 33.
- Cam Ward played very well and once again had a couple of grade A saves. Lundqvist also had a solid game.
- Once Carolina had the lead in the third, they did continue to attack when they had the opportunity, but time of possession was a major factor. It looked like the Rangers were wearing out the Canes with the almost, non-stop pressure and it was not much of a surprise when they did eventually score.
Eric Staal played 25:42 in this game and seemed to be out there most of the overtime. (Is that good or bad?) He ended up with three shots on goal and two hits, one a jarring blast on his brother that the Rangers did not appreciate. Staal also won 60% of his faceoffs while the team finished at 43%.
- Jamie McBain led the way with five shots on goal. Cole and Jokinen each had four.
- Erik Cole continues to skate like gangbusters, but he probably wished he had that play back where he lifted the puck into the crowd for a penalty. The speedy winger consistently beats defensemen down the ice and he came close to scoring at least a couple of times in this game.
- The Canes blocked 24 shots. Tim Gleason chipped in with five, Brandon Sutter had four.
- Jeff Skinner had a team high three takeaways and came close to scoring a couple of times, but it looked like he lost his man on the first Ranger goal.
- Jerome Samson had nine shifts for 6:52 of ice time. He contributed two shots on goal and helped hold the puck in the Ranger zone for at least one very good, prolonged cycling shift.
- There was another decent crowd of 17,932, especially good for a Tuesday night. Look for a sell out against the Pens on Friday.