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Rangers 4, Hurricanes 2

Late miscues and pitiful powerplay cost Carolina again

The New York Rangers celebrate after Derek Stepan scores the game winning goal against Carolina
The New York Rangers celebrate after Derek Stepan scores the game winning goal against Carolina
Grant Halverson

The Carolina Hurricanes brought a 1-0 lead into the third period but thanks to two late penalties and a powerplay which is allowing more goals than they score, they fell to the New York Rangers, 4-2 in front of 17,547 at the PNC Arena on Friday night.

The Carolina powerplay has not scored since before the Olympic break and they have allowed four shorthanded goals during the same time frame.

Coach Kirk Muller called their shameful performance with the man advantage a "lack of execution".

"Your have to execute.  You work on stuff and you have to run the plays.  If we start to get individual and want to make your own plays, then it doesn't work.  You get outworked on it and you don't execute, then the enemy is in there.  We didn't get the job done. "

The Rangers outshot the Hurricanes 44-24 for the game, including 18-7 in the deciding third period.

Jordan Staal gave the Canes the lead late in the first period when he took a nifty pass from Alexander Semin and beat Henrik Lundqvist with a beauty of a shot.

The score stayed 1-0 until the Rangers scored a shortie at 7:25 into the third.  Up to that point, Khudobin had made 33 saves without a miscue, but this was a tough play as the Rangers had a 3-on-2 odd man rush and Ryan McDonagh blasted a shot into the net.

Jeff Skinner would give the home team back the lead when he made his first career penalty shot 12:07 into the period.  Skinner broke into the clear and was hooked on the play, negating a decent shot attempt.

The lead would not hold though as Rick Nash scored just a minute and change later, making the score 2-2.

The Rangers were putting on more and more pressure and the Canes wilted.  First, Ron Hainsey sent a puck over the glass for a penalty with just 4:30 left in the game.  Then Brett Bellemore did the same thing and was called for the same penalty 32 seconds later, giving New York a minute and half of a 5-on-3.

The Rangers patiently worked the puck and finally scored when Brad Richards fed Martin St. Louis, who then made a cross ice pass to Derek Stepan who buried the open shot.  It was a bam-bam play and Khudobin, who was one of the game's stars, had no chance.

Of course, the Rangers would score an empty net goal with less than a minute left to ice the game.

At this crucial portion of the season, the Canes have now lost six of their last seven games.  Next up will be a game at the Prudential Center against the Devils tomorrow night.

Game Notes:

  • John-Michael Liles left the game early with an undisclosed injury.  There was no update of his status after the game.
  • Anton Khudobin was named the game's first star in the arena and he made 40 saves on 43 shots. 
  • The Canes were outshot 44-24 and were led by Jordan Staal with four.
  • The Canes were officially 0-4 on the powerplay but also failed to click with about 30 seconds of two man advantage.