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Slow Start - Rangers 3, Canes 2

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The Carolina Hurricanes fell behind by two goals and could never quite recover last night, as they lost to the New York Rangers, 3-2.

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period because of some lackadaisical defense by the Canes. The visitors tried to make a game of it though when Ryan Bayda notched a tally at the 13 minute mark of the opening period, making the score 2-1.

After a scoreless second period, the Rangers scored again at about the 12 minute mark of the third. But Tuomo Ruutu scored his 14th of the season just 25 seconds later. Try as they might, the Canes couldn't get another one past backup goalie, Stephen Valiquette.

Carolina will need to do better if they want to stay in the playoff race. Both Florida and Buffalo won, with the Panthers jumping over the Canes in the standings, still with two games in hand. The Canes were 0-4 on the powerplay and will need to improve in that area as well.

Next up will be a contest at home against Tampa Bay tomorrow night. The home team will need to start winning as their target is to pick up points in at least 20 of their remaining 33 games, no easy task.