New York Rangers weather early storm to earn 2-1 victory over Hurricanes

NHL: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It was a frightful start for the New York Rangers in Carolina as the Hurricanes outshot them by a 13-3 margin in the first period and grabbed an early lead.

The lopsided shot totals were even more stunning when you consider the Rangers had a nearly full two-minute 5-on-3 advantage around the 10 minute mark. However, Igor Shesterkin was outrageously good in this contest to help the Blueshirts weather the storm and find their game.

Artemi Panarin led the offense with a goal and an assist as the Rangers rebounded from their loss to the Canes on Tuesday for a 2-1 victory in Raleigh.

“We’re a good team and we have a lot of good hockey players,” Gerard Gallant said. “You find a way to stick around a win a hockey game. Shesterkin made some key saves for us and gave us a chance to win.”

Rangers battle back for win over Canes

NEW YORK RANGERS
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers started the game behind the proverbial eight-ball when it was announced that defenseman Ryan Lindgren was not in the lineup. In the team’s last game, a 3-2 loss to these very same Hurricanes, he tweaked his previously injured shoulder leading to the team wanting to be cautious.

From the opening drop of the puck, the Blueshirts looked off as the Hurricanes swarmed them every time they tried to move up ice. If not for the heroic goaltending of Igor Shesterkin, who made 29 saves in the win, this could have been over after 20 minutes.

One of his stops, that he downplayed, came in the second period off an odd-man rush.

“It was a straight shot, he shot on my blocker,” Shesterkin said. “Basically, it was all blue line shots without traffic. [The team] always plays great in front of me.”

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A few minutes later, Artemi Panarin finished a nice set up from Mika Zibanejad to answer Sebastian Aho’s first period tally. The goal came on the team’s eight shot of the match and was started by a strong play by Vladimir Tarasenko.

“I don’t think everything works yet, but we’re trying to find a way to score in every game and don’t give up goals,” said Tarasenko, who assisted on Panarin’s goal.

In the third period, the Rangers really upped their game and were rewarded when Adam Fox broke a 24 game goal drought. At the 4:01 mark, Fox took a cross-ice feed from Panarin and roofed by Frederik Andersen for the eventual game-winner.

“I thought we played hard,” Fox noted. “We got our chances and capitalized on them. I thought we battled real hard today.”

The Rangers now have 94 points and have a magic number of 7 to clinch a playoff spot.

New York’s next game is Saturday against the Panthers in Florida at 5 PM ET.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore