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Canes battle back to top Rangers in MSG

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Right?

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

For the first 49 and a half minutes Tuesday night, the Hurricanes-Rangers game in Madison Square Garden was an absolute slog.

The Rangers held a 1-0 lead thanks to a late first-period tally from Tyler Motte. The Canes held an edge in shots and chances, though Carolina really hadn’t mustered a scoring chance that ever really looked like it threatened New York netminder Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 36 of 39 shots faced by the end of the night.

But then the unlikeliest of Canes broke through, finally, as Jalen Chatfield came flying down the wing, collected a crisp pass from Derek Stepan and blasted a snipe past Shesterkin into the the roof of the net to make it 1-1. It was just Chatfield’s sixth goal of the year, but one Carolina so desperately needed.

But after all that clawing and digging to try and get back into it, the Rangers regained their lead mere seconds later. Just 31 seconds after Chatfield’s equalizer, Kaapo Kakko got to the net and beat Frederik Andersen, who stopped 29 of 31 shots faced, to make it 2-1.

The Canes didn’t let the air out of the tires, though, as Carolina continued to control possession and shots. And it paid off in the form of a Stefan Noesen goal, as Noesen camped out in front of goal and finished off a great pass from Jesper Fast to make it a 2-2 game with just over nine minutes left to play.

And seven minutes later, the Canes took their first lead of the night in the most important minutes of the game. Brent Burns skated the puck forward and after a nice shot fake fed it to Teuvo Teravainen out front, who slotted it past Shesterkin to somehow put the Hurricanes up 3-2 despite the 50 minutes of pushing and pressing from the visitors.

It was a great win for the Hurricanes against a great Metro foe, as Carolina continues its push to win the division and avoid these exact Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.

It wasn’t always the prettiest, but the result at the end was two points. And that’s all that matters.