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Recap and Rank ‘em: Second Period Collapse Dooms Hurricanes in 5-1 Rangers Win

Characteristic mistakes erased an impressive first period as the Hurricanes suffered a 5-1 loss in Madison Square Garden.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes’ long-running road futility against the New York Rangers has reached the point where it can start taking driver’s ed.

The Hurricanes lost to the Rangers for the second time in as many weeks, a 5-1 loss that marked the Canes’ 14th consecutive defeat in Madison Square Garden. The team fought hard against a fast Rangers team but could only get one shot past Henrik Lundqvist, who made 32 saves. When the wheels came off for the Canes in the second period, they were unable to recover.

The lone Carolina goal came on a Justin Williams slapshot that marked his 700th NHL point just 55 seconds into the game. He beat Lundqvist to the far side with a blazing slap shot.

Just a few minutes later, Brock McGinn crashed the net hard on a characteristic play, almost pushing the puck past Lundqvist’s glove side. Props to Brock for the sportsmanship after the whistle.

The play remained tight with the Hurricanes looking mostly sharp through the remainder of the first period.

But the second period marked the beginning of a familiar collapse. Just 27 seconds into the second period, Scott Darling committed his second flub of the year against the Blueshirts. While attempting to clear the puck, he mishandled it and put it on a platter for Rangers forward David Desharnais.

Predictably, the next goal came just over a minute later when Noah Hanifin tracked J.T. Miller into the corner as Faulk attempted to handle Michael Grabner in the slot. Grabner outworked Faulk and got into position to receive and promptly put away the centering pass from Miller. The Hurricanes had squandered a crucial two points in the standings in less than two minutes.

The third period began in a familiar fashion — with the Hurricanes looking for an equalizing goal in a hard fought game. Three minutes into the third period Jeff Skinner took off on a breakaway but was slashed by Ryan McDonagh, earning himself a penalty shot. He was unable to convert against Lundqvist, who’s historically had the Canes’ number and did again tonight.

The Hurricanes would continue to fight hard throughout the third period to no avail. With an offensive zone faceoff and a one goal deficit, Bill Peters pulled Darling for the extra attacker. Grabner promptly scored two empty net goals to earn himself the easiest hat trick in NHL history. Paul Carey would score with 40 seconds left to seal the game, handing the Rangers a 5-1 win.

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.