“We’re going to keep working in any fashion that we can whether it be film, talking…we’re going to get after it.” Coach David Quinn’s words certainly resonated with his team on Pride night at Madison Square Garden, as the Rangers defeated the Hurricanes 6-2 in a game that was dominated by the Blueshirts from the first drop of the puck until the final buzzer.
Hurricane’s coach Rod Brind’Amour became the latest Carolina head coach to lose at Madison Square Garden; as the Rangers’ notched their 16th consecutive win at home. Hurricanes netminder Curtis McElhinney was chased early and often and only stopped 22 of 28 shots. Mika Zibanejad, Tony Deangelo and Pavel Buchnevich led the Rangers with two goals apiece and tonight marked the first time New York had three players with multi-goal games since December of 1996. New York’s main advantage came on special teams; three power play goals scored and three penalties killed off, and fresh off his well-deserved break, Hank had an excellent performance stopping 34 of 36 shots.
The Rangers came out of the gates looking like a top class team as they jumped on the Hurricanes. Tony DeAngelo started the fun 1:16 into the period as his wrist shot found a hole above Curtis McElhinney’s shoulder to make it 1-0. Just around eight minutes after the Rangers’ opening tally, the Hurricanes tied the game up at 1-1 with a fortuitous goal by Saku Maenalanen. Brett Howden fumbled Marc Staal’s cross-ice pass, Maenalanen intercepted the puck inside the slot and beat Henrik Lundqvistunder the arm to the even the score. The tie game would only last for three minutes though, as Mika Zibanejad converted off an awful play by the Canes’ netminder who fanned on an attempt to play the puck out of the corner. Chris Kreider got to the puck and dished it to Zibanejad for an easy goal. Mika netted his second goal of the night just a few moments later with the help of a marvelous pass by Mats Zuccarello. The Norwegian forward laid a beautiful between-the-legs pass from behind the net onto Mika’s tape and Zibanejad roofed the puck.
The second period proved to be a bit quieter with Pavel Buchnevich scoring the lone goal 3:41 into the period on a beautiful feed from Zuccarello, who also picked up his second assist of the night on the play. With the score 4-1 and McElhinney playing atrocious, the game was basically out of hand.
The Blueshirts added insult to injury and scored three more in the last frame. At 4:19, the lethal power play line of Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello converted for the second time of the night. Curtis McElhinney was caught way out of his crease and Buchnevich easily flipped the puck into the net for his second goal of the game. The Hurricanes gained a little momentum late in the period as Maenalanen slipped his second of the night past Hank, but that was quickly stalled as at the 12:55 mark, Tony DeAngelo scored his second of the night slamming home a loose puck making it a 6-2 game.
Following tonight’s dominant rout of the Hurricanes, the Rangers have a day off before facing Chicago in an original sixmatchup Thursday night.