Rangers win streak comes to an end in Carolina; Zuccarello scores twice

Alexandra Russo


Photo courtesy of Greg Forwerck/NHLI.

The Rangers broke their three-game winning streak with a 3-2 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night. They had a strong attempt to come back in the third, but Ward stood tall in net for his team and helped give them their first home opener win in eight years.

After two bad giveaways, the teams traded chances but failed to capitalize. Soon after, Faulk’s delay of game penalty allowed the Rangers to really get their offense going on the power play. After a few attempts, Mika Zibanejad thought he put the puck behind Ward, but it somehow came back out, and Zibanejad fed an open Zuccarello. He ripped a shot from the circle that found its way past a sprawled Ward. The Hurricanes challenged for goalie interference, but in looking at the replay, it seemed as though one of the Hurricanes’ own players fell on top of Buchnevich in front of the net, so it was ruled a good goal.

Carolina responded fast, though, and put one past Lundqvist, as there was no defender in front of him. Jeff Skinner received credit for the slap shot that tied the game at 1.

Towards the end of the period, Zuccarello came extremely close to putting his team giving his team the lead two separate times. He was robbed on a one timer from the circle, and took a similar looking shot but was denied a clear shot by a Hurricane’s reaching stick.

The Rangers thought they escaped their pattern of letting up an early goal, but that didn’t carry through to the second period. Just over thirty seconds into the period, Jeff Skinner struck again. He escaped the checking of Kevin Klein and made a nifty move to put the puck on his backhand and beat Lundqvist short side.

Mika Zibanejad had a short breakaway opportunity before Rick Nash made a crafty move to escape the Carolina defenseman but still wasn’t able to score. The Rangers went on their second power play of the game and they definitely had some great chances, including Zibanejad, who performed well the entire night…but he wasn’t the only one. Despite not scoring on the power play, they did scored shortly after. Mats Zuccarello received a heck of a stretch pass from captain Ryan McDonagh, and all in one move he slipped it past Ward’s left pad for a tie game and his second of the night.

A tripping penalty on Ryan McDonagh cost his team as Jeff Skinner thought he recorded his fifth career hat trick, but after the period, they reviewed it and gave the goal to Bickell. With less than one second to go in the period, Skinner took a hard shot from right circle that flew over Lundqvist’s shoulder pad, as it was deflected by Bickell for a 3-2 lead. This goal wasn’t exactly Hank’s fault, though, because he was being screened by two players.

The Blueshirts knew coming into the period that getting the equalizer would be key, so they came out firing on all cylinders. Rick Nash had another great chance in this game but couldn’t get it underneath the pad of Ward on his own rebound.

The Rangers got out of deep trouble as Lundqvist lost his stick and almost gave up anothergoal. This was before they were guilty of another giveaway that their goaltender bailed them out on. With less than a minute left in the period, Hank robbed former teammate Lee Stempniak on a shot right in front of him. But the Hurricanes kept coming and didn’t allow much, even through the neutral zone. So the Rangers didn’t have enough time to get anything going even when Zucc almost tied it in the dying seconds.

Breaking down the play of the Rangers, one thing that was great seeing Zuccarello come out fast and strong. We know he pours his heart out into every game, but this game really showcased his talent, and he could have easily gotten a hat trick.

And let’s not forget to talk about Mika Zibanejad, who had so many great chances. Even when he wasn’t in possession of the puck he had great positioning, such as when he made that pass to Zucc. He stayed in the right position to set him up. It was surprising that he didn’t have a goal of his own.

Obviously Jeff Skinner stood out the most in this game, as he thought he had recorded a hat trick. He ultimately received an assist on the winning goal, even though fans already threw their hats on the ice in celebration. After his first goal, the Rangers should have been more vigilant of tracking him and blocking his shots.

Altogether, it was a pretty good game for the Rangers, but not their best. They could have won the game if they had a few more bounces go their way. The third period could have seen some more action and pucks to the net. Either way, their record now is 5-3-0, and they look to improve it as they face the Lightning back at home Sunday night at 7 p.m.

Posted on October 29, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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