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Recap: Carolina Hurricanes Take Down New York Rangers in Home Opener

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After two weeks away from home, the Hurricanes finally played their first game at PNC Arena on Friday night.

NHL: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Home, sweet home. The Carolina Hurricanes picked up a big 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Friday night’s home opener.

It was a slow start for the Hurricanes, who quickly found themselves behind 8-1 in the shot category and 1-0 on the scoreboard after Mats Zuccarello’s first of two goals on the night.

Just minutes later, Jeff Skinner, in his first game as an alternate captain, netted his third goal of the season after a relentless effort in the offensive zone, tying the game at one.

33 seconds into the second period, Skinner netted a backhander on Henrik Lundqvist, giving the Canes their first lead of the hockey game.

Zuccarello struck again midway through the second, making it a tie game once again entering the final minutes of period two.

And, finally, with .5 on the clock in the second period, a rocket off the stick of Jeff Skinner grazed the sweater of Bryan Bickell, giving the former Blackhawk his first goal as a Carolina Hurricane.

A stellar third period from the Hurricanes, playing extremely well with the lead, salted away a 3-2 win in their first game at the PNC Arena this season.

Game Notes

  • Jeff Skinner, in his first game as an alternate captain, was absolutely stellar. His “middle-body” injury kept him out of the lineup on Tuesday in Detroit, but he didn't look out of place in the slightest on Friday. He netted two goals and three points against the Rangers, bringing him to nine points in six games this season.
  • Victor Rask continued to be a dangerous force on Carolina’s top forward line. With two assists on the night, Rask is now riding a seven-game point streak to kick off the regular season.
  • Noah Hanifin notched his team-leading sixth assist of the season on Skinner’s first goal.
  • Cam Ward had his best outing of the season. He stopped 28 of 30 Ranger shots on Friday, lifting Carolina to their second win of the season. The Hurricanes desperately need one of Ward or Lack to step up and play well, and that is exactly what Ward did.
  • The Hurricanes scored on their only powerplay chance of the night. Their penalty kill stopped the Rangers once on two tries.
  • In the faceoff circle, the Hurricanes won 60% of their draws, led by Jordan Staal who dominated again, winning 72% of his faceoffs.
  • Perhaps the biggest positive from Friday night’s win was their play in the third period. They played their best hockey down the stretch, and if it wasn't for a marvelous save by Lundqvist with just a minute to go, Lee Stempniak would have extended their lead to 4-2. The Canes kept their foot on the gas and were able to shut down the Rangers, securing them a very important win in their home opener.

Rank the Performances

Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.