The Canes skated a strong opening frame, outshooting the Rangers 17-11 and controlling much of the offense as their powerplay got a pair of opportunities early on.
Despite a good start, they fell into an early 2-0 hole. Chris Kreider one-timed one home from the right circle under a minute in and Scott Darling allowed a goal that will haunt him in his dreams for a very, very long time at the 2:26 mark of the opening frame.
The Hurricanes were, however, able to answer on their first man advantage of the period. Teuvo Teravainen went across the offensive zone to feed Sebastian Aho for a one-time rocket that beat King Henrik Lundqvist and cut the Ranger lead in half.
Just moments later, the Rangers scored again. This time, Paul Carey, who dished out a pretty ugly hit to Brock McGinn later on, pounce on a rebound and beat Darling, thus eliminating much of the momentum that Carolina had put together after Aho’s powerplay marker.
The Hurricanes continued to push down on the gas, but Lundqvist was up to the challenge and kept the game at 3-1 through the remainder of period one.
A quiet second period, in which the Rangers had just one shot on net until the final five minutes of the frame, ended with neither team finding twine and the score stayed at 3-1.
Things got ugly in the third period for the Hurricanes. Defensive breakdown after defensive breakdown put the Canes in a quick 5-1 hole after goals from Kreider (his second) and Jesper Fast.
Fast would score again just over half-way through the final frame, pushing the road team’s lead to 6-1. The lead stayed at five and the final buzzer sounded on what was a hugely disappointing game in all aspects for Carolina.
Darling had a forgettable start, the team defense was lacking severely, and the offense couldn’t get the puck past Henrik Lundqvist as the King made a plethora of huge saves early on to keep the Canes at bay.
With two games in hand, the Hurricanes had a chance to jump past the Rangers and put themselves just one point away from the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. Instead, the Rangers now have sole possession of the nine-slot in the East and the Hurricanes are two points behind them in tenth place.
The Canes will get a day off for Thanksgiving, but they’ll hit the ice again on Friday night as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that they beat by a 6-3 score at the Air Canada Centre back on October 26.
Rank the Performances
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