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About Last Night: Clinching in Defeat

The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the New York Rangers Thursday night in PNC Arena, though a Florida loss to the Maple Leafs clinched Carolina’s place in the postseason.

New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes’ offensive endeavors were, once again, mostly snakebitten in Raleigh Thursday night, as Carolina fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 just two days after mounting a third-period comeback to beat the Rangers in Madison Square Garden.

Sebastian Aho opened the scoring with a beautiful shot in the first period, but that was all the Hurricanes could muster on the scoreboard as Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox tallied to give the visitors two points.

About last night:

Harmless shots

The Carolina Hurricanes outshot the New York Rangers 30-16 Thursday night. Which, on paper, is good.

But Carolina’s shots clearly weren’t creating much danger for Igor Shesterkin and company, and that showed in both the final result and some of the other stuff on paper.

Despite nearly doubling up New York’s shots on goal, the Hurricanes had just a 28-24 edge in scoring chances, per Natural Stat Trick. In high-danger chances, the Canes held just a 12-9 edge. In expected goals, it was just 2.39-2.19 in Carolina’s favor.

And of course in the stat that matters more than any, it was a 2-1 edge for the visitors in PNC Arena to secure two points and send the home team out of the building without a point. The Canes, despite the 14-shot margin, really didn’t threaten the Rangers too much.

Which was also the story of 50 minutes of Carolina’s trip to New York Tuesday night. It’s a tad bit concerning, for sure. Back-to-back games against a playoff team in a little glimpse of what the postseason could look like, and the Hurricanes really only played two periods out of six that really resembled what they want to do.

It’s certainly not a panic-button moment — the Canes did, after all, win that game Tuesday in MSG. But in terms of actually creating and finishing dangerous chances, what the Hurricanes have shown these two nights here against the Rangers probably won’t cut it come the playoffs.


Part of those issues came on the power play for the Hurricanes, which was frankly awful Thursday night.

The Hurricanes went to the man advantage three times in the game, spending a full six minutes with an extra skater on the ice.

And in those six minutes Carolina mustered...two shots, three scoring chances, two high-danger chances, 0.34 expected goals and zero goals.

That’s bad.

Clinching in Defeat

It wasn’t all bad for the Hurricanes Thursday night, though.

The Florida Panthers got bullied in a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and with that the Hurricanes clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive year and 18th time in franchise history.

Even on a night where Carolina didn’t look great, that’s worth celebrating.

Other Thoughts

  • Frederik Andersen was fantastic and made some really phenomenal saves to keep the Canes in this one. He’s been good.
  • Speaking of good, Shayne Gostisbehere played a nice game Thursday. He led the team with four shots, drew a penalty and blocked two shots, including a big one late in the game. He’s been good.