The Rangers entered the action winners of three straight games and seven of their previous ten, but they got sunk by the still-division-leading Hurricanes by a final score of 4-2.
The action didn’t start until the early stages of the second period. K’Andre Miller broke the ice and put New York in front at 1:03 of the middle frame when he drove down the middle of the ice and to the front of the Rangers net. He tapped home a centering feed from Mika Zibanejad after shaking loose of Brett Pesce for his seventh goal of the season.
Carolina rebounded nicely, though, and ended up getting the equalizer at the 13:38 mark.
Andrei Svechnikov bounced a shot off the back of Igor Shesterkin’s leg and into the back of the net. It’s not what we usually expect from Svechnikov when he has the puck behind the opponent’s goal, but it certainly worked, bringing the game back to square one.
The opening minutes of the third period saw the Hurricanes put the hammer down and put the game away.
Just a minute into the third, the Hurricanes jumped all over a turnover from the Rangers at center ice. Sebastian Aho got the puck and fed a perfect pass to a streaking Seth Jarvis, who deked and roofed a goal on Shesterkin from his backhand to make it 2-1 and give the Canes their first lead of the night.
Just under six minutes later, the Hurricanes’ Jesper Fast won a board battle and worked the puck back to Brady Skjei, whose point shot got blocked and ricocheted out to Jordan Staal. Staal continued his scoring tear with a wicked wrister from the high slot that beat Shesterkin clean. And just like that, Carolina had a two-goal lead.
It wasn’t a pretty game from Rod Brind’Amour’s bunch through 40 minutes, but once they got the lead, they shut things down in impressive fashion down the stretch of the third period.
They didn’t give up a single high-danger shot attempt at 5-on-5 in the third period and dominated the total shot attempts before Chris Kreider deposited a rebound right in front of Andersen with the goalie pulled in the final 100 seconds of play.
The goal was Kreider’s 50th on the season, tying him with Leon Draisaitl for second-most in the NHL.
That put a little scare into the final minute of play, but the Hurricanes kept the Rangers at bay long enough for Aho to pot an empty-net goal and secure a 4-2 win on the road.
Despite playing what was far from their best game, the Hurricanes did what they needed to do against the Rangers - win.
In doing that, the Canes doubled their lead in the Metropolitan Division from two points to four.
Carolina got multi-point games from Aho (one goal, two assists), Jarvis (one goal, one assist), Svechnikov (one goal, one assist), and Skjei (two assists) in the win while getting buoyed by a big performance from Frederik Andersen. He stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced and kept his team within a goal through the second period.
The Hurricanes will return home to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night before hitting the road again this weekend.