The Rangers win. Yay! The Rangers win! Yay!
Getting back on track? Maybe.
Against the Hurricanes at MSG, the Rangers started out just like they did in last three L’s. The lackluster Blueshirts were outworked, out-chanced and outshot in the first stanza 14-6. The Hurricanes got on the board in the final minute when Eric Staal ripped a one-timer by Henrik Lundqvist. Joni Pitkanen hit the Canes captain with a gorgeous feed that he blasted by Hank, who had no chance on the shot. Alexander Semin got the second assist and Slappy somehow has 22 apples this year. No that is not a typo.
So the Rangers lumbered through the glass hallway in the bowels of MSG to their locker room down 1-0 and looking well on their way to their 4th loss in a row.
But then something changed.
Magically, in the second period, the Rangers became a difficult team to play against. The team in the blue sweaters took it to the team in the white ones. The Rangers skated their asses off in the middle frame. They found a forecheck and they moved the puck and they created some chances. The pressure applied by the NYR forced the Hurricanes defensemen to move the puck quicker and the Rangers forecheck forced turnovers. The Blueshirts unrelenting pressure even led to a goal. The second line with Derek Stepan centering Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan was the Rangers best trio on the night. Ona buzzing shift, Ryan Callahan powered towards the Carolina net and was driven into Dan Ellis by Pitkanen and as Cally knocked the Canes netminder down, Hagelin slid the disc to Stepan who wheeled around and fired a wrister into the wide open cage for the equalizer.
The third was more balanced with the Rangers playing well and getting several chances. Carolina had several chances as well, but Hank was dominant keeping the hurricanes off the board.
Overtime brought more of the same, and the 4 on 4 was was fast paced and more exciting as usual. Ryan McDonagh missed a glorious chance and the game went to a shootout.
The breakaway competition was Hanks’s time to shine even brighter and he did stopping Texty (Jiri Tlusty) and Slappy (Alexander Semin.)
Rick Nash notched one for the NYR with a ridiculous move on Ellis, showing off his amazing reach. Cally missed his shot and J.T. Miller showed enough presence to cradle a hopping puck and pull Ellis far of the post. The Rangers rookie waited out the on his stomach Canes goalie and flipped a puck over the keeper for the win.
These are two big points, a much needed two points. Hank was amazing. His used save on the other Nash saved the game. And although the Rangers still don’t score (3 goals n the last 4 games.) And although, the power play is still atrocious, (0-3 tonight, 11% on the season) this was a huge hard-working step forward and the Rangers need to carry it forward into their match up with the equally disappointing Devils.