New York Rangers edge Hurricanes 2-1, lose Fox and Chytil to injury

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The red hot New York Rangers won their sixth straight game Thursday, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in a critical early-season divisional matchup.

Unfortunately, the win came at a cost with Adam Fox and Filip Chytil leaving the game due to injury.

“They’re both going to be evaluated tomorrow,” Peter Laviolette updated. “Adam has an upper-body (injury) and Fil has a lower-body injury. I went in and looked at (the hit on Fox) after the period and I didn’t like it.”

New York Rangers 2 vs Carolina Hurricanes 1

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers scored an early power-play goal on a Hurricanes bench minor three minutes into the game. Chris Kreider had the tap-in on a perfect pass by the blazing hot Artemi Panarin, who now has points in all 10 games this season.

Seth Jarvis answered back on a Carolina power play midway through the first when the forward snapped one past Igor Shesterkin to tie the game at 1-1, on only the Hurricanes’ second shot on goal of the game.

The Rangers had multiple power play opportunities in the first period, but scored just the one time.

Meanwhile, Fox left the game for the locker room after a collision with Sebastian Aho; and it was announced he would not return for the remainder of the game — having suffered a lower-body injury. This is obviously bad news for the Blueshirts, for whom former the Norris winner continues to be one of their most reliable two-way players, season after season.

It was transparent both the Rangers and Canes were well aware the team they were facing is projected to be one of their strongest competitors all season long, as the game quickly shifted into defensive mode by the second period. One of the running themes for New York to date has been their ability to block shots, with Jacob Trouba and Nick Bonino ranking highest among defensemen and forwards on the team, respectively, in blocked shots.

And both were called upon heavily to perform defense in the Rangers’ slot in the second period, along with every other player on a bit of a change-up of lines and pairings, as Filip Chytil also left the game for the locker room. On a penalty kill for a hooking called on Kaapo Kakko, Ryan Lindgren blocked multiple shots, as well.

For the power plays that ensued after Fox left the game, Erik Gustafsson took his place; but no further scoring occurred in the second frame.

It was announced by the beginning of the third period that Filip Chytil had left the game with an upper-body injury, and that he wouldn’t be returning.

Penalties continued on both sides throughout the game. But the score turned to 2-1 on a tremendous puck possession and pass by Trouba to Will Cuylle, who has quickly become a regular net front presence for the Rangers on the early season — both by design and by instinct. He has been quite a revelation for the team since joining the roster. Barclay Goodrow received the other assist on the goal.

“I saw [Trouba] pinch down the wall and I found a little lane for him to find me,” Cuylle smiled. “First goal at MSG and it was a big one. I’m pretty happy.”

Shesterkin was at his finest in net throughout the game; but perhaps at his very best in the third period — making some incredible saves.

“Fil and Foxy are important players for us, hopefully everything will be good,” Shesterkin noted about the gutsy win. “We just tried to play our game and Cuylle stepped up. Good job.”

And though Carolina played a hard game, dumping the puck and making the Blueshirts chase it all over the ice; and the secondary story of the game was, without a doubt, the Rangers playing shorthanded — missing two critical players for much of the game, the final ended in a win for New York with a score of 2-1.

This Rangers team is proving gritty and tenacious, and they did not play soft on a return game from a long, many miles traveled, early season road trip.

Rangers Notes

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 27 of 28 shots on goal.
  • Will Cuylle scored his second goal of the season.
  • The Rangers had 21 blocked shots in the game to the Hurricanes’ 10 blocked shots.
  • Chris Kreider has tied Andy Bathgate for the fourth most goals in #NYR history (272).
  • Artemi Panarin played in his 600th career NHL game Thursday night. Since his first season in 2015-16, Panarin ranks second in the NHL in assists (455) and fourth in points (676).
  • Vincent Trocheck came into the game with a 61.8 face-off win percentage, highest on the Blueshirts.

The Rangers will practice at 12:00 p.m. ET before going back on the road to play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center, at 8:00 pm Eastern on Saturday night.

Deborah Seymour grew up in New York City and studied in the City University of New York system for... More about Deborah Seymour

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