Rangers open 2024 with a big dud, lose 6-1 to Hurricanes

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers opened up 2024 with a Metropolitan Division match up against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden. It was a humbling night as Carolina got the best of their divisional rival. New York was heavily out-played in terms of special teams, which is surprising given their rankings this year. They surrendered two power play goals and failed to score on three of their own power plays.

In the contest, Chris Kreider scored the lone goal for the Rangers. Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin each registered an assist. After a great five-game stretch, Igor Shesterkin had an off night. He struggled playing the puck, and made 20 saves on 26 shots.

“After we gave up the third one, there wasn’t a lot of grind back,” Trouba said. “There’s no reason for us to show up and play that (type) of game.”

Related: Amazing Rangers stats in 2023

Carolina Hurricanes 6 vs New York Rangers 1

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes found momentum early in this one. Just 30 seconds into the first period, the Rangers were given an interference penalty and their penalty kill unit was put to the test. Unfortunately, they could not hold off the Carolina power play. Jack Drury, nephew of Rangers General Manager Chris Drury, would find the back of the net and put Carolina up 1-0 early.

New York would get a power play opportunity of their own, but would fail to take advantage of it as special teams became the early story of the first frame. Carolina’s aggressive style of penalty killing denied the Rangers any real chance to get set up on the man advantage.

Noteworthy in the first frame was the physical play of both teams. The Rangers seemed to play with an edge, as Carolina put several key players out with injuries in the last meeting between these clubs.

The officials seemed to let a lot go as the frame rolled on, until a holding call on the Rangers would send them back to the penalty kill with 55 seconds remaining. Igor Shesterkin made three stops after a flurry of Carolina shots. On the ensuing face-off, Sebastian Aho found Andrei Svechnikov, who cashed in on the one-timer.

Special teams told the story of the first frame, as Carolina scored two power play goals, while New York failed to generate anything on their lone power play chance.

The Rangers came out strong to start the second period. K’Andre Miller and Mika Zibanejad both came close and were able to draw a Carolina penalty. New York’s power play, however, would come up short again.

Shortly thereafter, the Rangers would break through. Chris Kreider scored on a redirected shot from Jacob Trouba for his 19th goal of the season. This cut the Hurricanes’ lead to one.

Carolina came right back with a goal of their own. After a miscommunication between Igor Shesterkin and Braden Schneider, the puck came out to Jordan Martinook right in front of the net, and he fired it home for a 3-1 Carolina lead.

The Rangers then had to kill another penalty, and did so successfully this time around. It was a big kill, as surrendering a goal would mean being down by three to a very good team in Carolina.

New York would get a power play opportunity with just 38 seconds to go in the middle stanza. They would fail to score, but would have 1:22 seconds of carry over time as they head into the third period down by two.

The start to the third was essentially the exact opposite of what the Rangers needed. Not only did they fail again on the power play, now 0 for 3 on the night, but they gave up two quick goals in the following minutes.

First, Jalen Chatfield found the back of the net with a screen in front. Not long thereafter, Andrei Svechnikov broke toward the net and got another one past Shesterkin, who struggled in the contest. The two quick goals not only deflated the Garden crowd, but deflated the Rangers as well.

To make it more humbling, the Hurricanes would find the back of the net again. Michael Bunting was left virtually alone and cashed in on a pass from Brendan Lemieux, making the score 6-1. This would prove to be the nail in the coffin for New York as they failed to generate any offense.

Carolina played a dominating game in which the Rangers could not get much going. It was a poor way to start the year, and gives Carolina quite a bit of momentum in their attempt to catch up top the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. New York drops this one by a score of 6-1.

If I am going to go after a period, it’s the third,” coach Peter Laviolette lamented. “I hated it. It’s not who we are or who we want to be.”

Rangers Notes

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 20 out of 26 shots
  • With a goal tonight, Chris Kreider is now on a seven-game point streak (3G-7A)
  • Artemi Panarin, who had an assist in the game, has points in 30 out of 36 games this season

The Rangers are back in action Thursday, January 4th as they welcome Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time this season. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM ET at Madison Square Garden.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh