The Carolina Hurricanes dropped a shootout to the New York Rangers, 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, but earned an important point that put them back into first place in the Southeast Division. Dan Ellis made 35 saves in the loss.
The Canes have 32 points, the same as the Winnipeg Jets, but they have a game in hand which gives them a better winning percentage, at least for now. The team will return home to face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Carolina had a great first period and outshot the home team 14-6 while taking a 1-0 lead. With 51 seconds left in the period, Joni Pitkanen zipped a nice cross-ice pass to Eric Staal and the captain beat Henrik Lundqvist off the inside post for the goal.
Staal now has at least a point in five consecutive games.
As much as the visitors dominated the first period, the home team took over the second. The Rangers outshot the Canes 14-4 and tied the game on a Derek Stepan shot when Ellis got hit and knocked to the ice.
Both teams battled back and forth in the third period, but the goalies held firm throughout.
The Rangers owned the first three minutes of overtime, but again Ellis made some nice saves to help send the contest to a shootout.
In the shootout, Rick Nash scored on the opening attempt and Jiri Tlusty was stopped for Carolina. Ryan Callahan missed the net and Alexander Semin hit the post on the second attempts for each team. Then J.T. Miller scored the game winner on New York's third shot.
It was the first shootout of the season for Carolina. A tired team heads home as the next game against Florida will be the team's third in four nights.
- Carolina could have had some better luck as it looked like a Ranger was pushed into Ellis on the New York goal and Ellis didn't have a chance. Unfortunately, Eric Staal was called for goalie interference in the first period when he was pushed into Lundqvist. The refs blew another call when Tim Wallace was whacked with a high stick which drew blood later in the game.
- The Canes were outshot for the game, 36-30. Semin led the way with five shots on goal.
- Jordan Staal was credited with a team high six hits.
- The Canes won 62% of the game's faceoffs.