Rangers fall to Hurricanes, Panarin and Copp left game early
The New York Rangers made a valiant effort to come from behind against the Carolina Hurricanes but eventually fell 4-3 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Losing is bad enough, but now the Rangers have to hope that both Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp will be ready for the start of the playoffs. Both players left the game early with the team announcing an upper-body injury for Panarin and a lower-body injury for Copp.
After the game Gerard Gallant said that both could have returned but he wanted to be cautious and held them out.
The loss means the Hurricanes have clinched first place. It also makes the last two games meaningless as the Rangers are locked into second place in the Metro Division.
Recap: Hurricanes 4 vs Rangers 3
Rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov held his own for his third career NHL victory as the Carolina Hurricanes clinched the Metropolitan Division title by defeating the host New York Rangers 4-3 in a showdown between the top teams in the division Tuesday night.
Vincent Trocheck, Jordan Martinook, Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho scored Carolina’s goals. Brady Skjei notched two assists against his former team and Trocheck also had an assist in the team’s fifth consecutive victory.
The Hurricanes (53-20-8, 114 points) set a franchise record for points in a season.
Kochetkov, making his third NHL appearance and second start all in a four-day span, racked up 31 saves. The Hurricanes have been hit by a rash of goalie injuries.
Chris Kreider, Jacob Trouba and Alexis Lafreniere scored for the Rangers (51-23-6, 108 points), who’ve lost their past two games. It’s their first back-to-back losses in regulation since March 8 and 10.
New York goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots.
Chris Kreider gets goal 52
After the Rangers came up empty on three power plays, the Hurricanes broke through first on Trocheck’s goal at 7:05 of the second period. Martinook’s tally stretched the lead before Kreider responded for New York.
Kreider’s 52nd goal of the season tied him for the second-most in franchise history, putting him two behind Jaromir Jagr’s mark set in 2005-06. Kreider also added an assist.
But Carolina rebuilt its margin to two goals less than two minutes later as Teravainen scored just 1:41 before the end of the second period.
Aho’s team-leading 37th goal came just 32 seconds into the third period.
After a pair of third-period comebacks last week, the Hurricanes took a different route for this clinching result.
Trouba closed the gap with a goal with 6:48 to go, but the Rangers managed only 11 shots in the third period.
Lafreniere’s goal came with 1:02 left.
The Rangers have home games remaining against Montreal on Wednesday and Washington on Friday. You can expect to see players rested before the playoffs.
- Igor Shesterkin stopped 32 of 36 shots
- Jacob Trouba set a career high with 11 goals
- Chris Kreider ties Adam Graves franchise mark for single season goals (52)
- Alexis Lafreniere registered his 18th goal of the season
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–Field Level Media contributed to this article.