The Carolina Hurricanes won their third game of their last four and their second in a row by a healthy score of 5-1, as they handed the New York Rangers their fourth loss in a row last night at Madison Square Garden.
Sergei Samsonov scored two goals, Ray Whitney extended his scoring streak to six games, and Eric Staal knocked in two goals, giving him seven in four games since being promoted to team captain.
The Canes put a special emphasis on starting out better this game and that is exactly what they were able to do. Just three minutes and change into it, Patrick Dwyer tipped in a Joni Pitkanen shot to put the visitors up 1-0. Eric Staal would slip one past Henrik Lundqvist 25 seconds later, and the Canes had a two goal lead before the four minute mark.
The Rangers tried to make things interesting when Ryan Callahan scored just a minute into the second period, but Sergei Samsonov would answer just 41 seconds later as the winger redirected an Andrew Alberts pass into the net to put the Canes back up by two.
Samsonov scored his second of the game at the 7:51 mark of the third and Staal closed things out with a rocket of a slapper from the point during a 5-on-3 advantage.
Cam Ward stopped 37 of 38 shots and played another very solid game in net. He had yet another highlight reel stopper in this game when he dove along the goal line and used his stick to keep out a point blank attempt.
Carolina will have an optional skate in the morning as they take on the New York Islanders at the RBC starting at 7.
- The Canes were credited with 27 hits led by Aaron Ward with six, Andrew Alberts with five, and Niclas Wallin with four.
- The scoring challenged Hurricanes now have scored 17 goals in their last four games.
- Eric Staal has 35 points in 28 games since returning from injury. That places him among the league leaders during that time frame.
- Sergei Samsonov now has three goals in the last four games since returning from his injury.
- The scoring of this game was spread out as 10 different Canes earned points.
- The boys chipped in with 13 blocked shots in front of Ward. Niclas Wallin and Andrew Alberts had three apiece.
- Brandon Sutter had the best faceoff percentage for both teams as he won 69% of his draws. (9 of 13).
The win gives the team a total of 41 points which is three more than West bottom dweller Edmonton, but three points lower than Toronto, the team immediately ahead of the Canes in the East.