It defies any and all logic.
For most of this decade, the Rangers have owned the Hurricanes in head-to-head matchups. Dating back to February 22, 2011, the New Yorkers are 25-4-0 against Carolina.
And on Saturday night, the Blueshirts completed their season sweep of the ‘Canes, winning the game 2-1.
In the early moments of the game, Carolina swarmed the Rangers; racing out to an eight to one shots advantage.
And while the Blueshirts battled back, they were still found themselves outshot 13-11 at the end of one.
The second period was much kinder to the Rangers. Well, sort of.
After being outshot 13-11 through one, the Blueshirts wanted to take control of the game.
But the shots totals did not go in their favor, as Carolina outshot the Rangers 12-5 in the middle period.
However, it’s not the amount of shots you take that matters. Rather, it’s what you do with them that determines whether you win or lose.
And even though they only registered five shots on goal, the Blueshirts scored twice.
The first goal was a thing of beauty as Paul Carey and Vladislav Namestnikov combined for two pretty passes to get the puck over to Ryan Sproul. And Sproul promptly fired the puck over Cam Ward; scoring his first goal as a Ranger — second of his career.
Then, 10 minutes later, Jesper Fast and Kevin Hayes took the puck up ice for a two-on-one shorthanded opportunity.
Fast fed Hayes with a saucer pass and Kevin put the puck in the back of Carolina’s net; giving the Rangers the 2-0 lead.
The Hurricanes continued to pound away at the Blueshirts in the third period; outshooting New York 16-4. And while Jeff Skinner scored the only goal of the period — bringing Carolina within 2-1 — Henrik Lundqvist stood tall; securing the win for the Rangers.
BLUESHIRT BULLET POINTS
PK ALL DAY: Another three-for-three performance on the penalty-kill restored order to the Blueshirts’ Universe a day after allowing two power-play goals to the Lightning. Overall, the Rangers’ penalty-killing is operating at an 84.1% success rate over the last 30 games. And, they tallied a short-handed goal to boot.
HIS MAJESTY: Making only his third start since March 10th, Henrik Lundqvist weathered storms throughout the game; turning in a 40-save performance.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: For the fourth time in five games a Rangers player scored his first goal as a Blueshirt. After watching teammates, Neal Pionk, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil turn the trick, Ryan Sproul got in on the action; opening the game’s scoring 3:01 into the second period.
The Rangers face Taylor Hall and the Devils Tuesday (April 3) at Prudential Center. Game time: 7 p.m. ET. Broadcast: MSG 2.
It wasn’t pretty. But a win’s a win. And, the Rangers players have been adamant about continuing to play for each other and being professionals.