In recent years, the New York Rangers have been very thankful for the Carolina Hurricanes. On the night before Turkey Day they showcased their appreciation.
Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast had two goals each, helping the Rangers win their second in a row in a 6-1 win over Metropolitan Division rival Carolina. With the win, the Rangers have won 12 of their past 15 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to the 2014-15 season.
The Rangers (11-9-2) instantly got off to a hot start. Before most fans at PNC Arena had found their seats, Chris Kreider had put the Rangers ahead 52 seconds into the game, off attractive assists by JT Miller and Brendan Smith, whose primary gave Kreider a wide open net to fire in.
Less than two minutes later, the Rangers put in another goal before the first commercial break, as Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling was unable to handle a dumb in by Mika Zinbanejad, leading to his 11th goal of the season and a 2-0 New York lead.
The Rangers’ strong penalty kill unit suffered a bit of a miscue, as Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes while Kreider served a minor for too many men on the ice. The team made up for it, however, when the fourth line put in a score, as Paul Carey scored not just his first goal of the season, but first as a Rangers to create a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Carolina (9-7-4) continued to put shots on the New York net, outshooting them 24-16 through two periods. However, Henrik Lundqvist made several clutch saves to preserve the lead, earning 31 saves in earning his 10th win of the season.
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The third period brought more New York dominance, as the Rangers posted three more scores, as Kreider added his second of the evening before Jesper Fast tallied two more. Fast’s second tally came off an assist from Steven Kampfer, good for the defenseman’s first point of the season.
The Rangers return to action on Black Friday, as they return to home to Madison Square Garden to faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings (7:00, MSG).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490