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Baby Steps: Rangers 5, Hurricanes 3

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The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their fifth straight game on Thursday night with a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers in front of 12,566 at the RBC. Regardless of the losing streak, head coach Kirk Muller tried to focus on the positive after the game and said that his team was taking "baby steps" in the process to get better.

"No one said this thing's going to change over night," said the coach.

The Canes have now lost 12 of their last 15 games.

The home team got off to a fast start as Jiri Tlusty blasted a shot past Martin Biron right off a faceoff just 35 seconds into the game. Brandon Sutter got the lone assist.

But Ryan Callahan tied things up just a minute and change later during a powerplay advantage for the blueshirts.

The teams battled evenly the rest of the period until Jeff Skinner knocked in his 11th of the season with just 8.7 seconds on the clock. But the Rangers would take control of the game in the second as they scored three straight before Carolina could stop the bleeding.

Derek Joslin scored his first of the season two minutes and change before the end of the second, but that would be the last time the Hurricanes would light the lamp.

The Rangers added insurance in the third to close things out.

Game Notes:

  • Coach Muller was happy to see his team stand up for each other. Anthony Stewart jumped into action after Jeff Skinner took a questionable hit by Brian Boyle midway through the third. Stewart was whistled with an instigator penalty for his trouble, which comes with a 10 minute misconduct, but it still was good to see him step up in that way.
  • When asked about Cam Ward's play, the coach said he was satisfied with it and he didn't expect the goalie to do it on his own. Ward allowed five goals on 27 shots.
  • The Canes outshot the Rangers, 31-27. Skinner had a team high five shots. They only missed the net seven times in this game, but had 22 shots blocked.
  • The home team had 21 blocks of their own led by Derek Joslin and Tim Gleason with four each.
  • They were credited with 17 hits led by Stewart with three.
  • Eric Staal had a two point night with two assists. He quietly has a three game point streak going.
  • The team won 53% of their faceoffs. (Staal 60%, Jokinen 64%, Jokinen 38%, Brent 60%)
  • The fourth line picked up a little more ice time this game. Brent was low man at 7:21 as both Nodl and Stewart had over eight minutes each. Staal led the entire team with 22:41 of ice time.