Blueshirt Bullet Points: Hurricanes 4 – Rangers 3

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog by Scott Charles

The New York Rangers tallied three power-play goals but the Carolina Hurricanes tallied two third-period goals to defeat the Blueshirts, 4-3.

Carolina came out flying to open up the third period but a controversial call was the turning point. Sebastian Aho fired a slap shot but a Hurricanes forward interfered with Rangers goaltender. Antti Raanta’s helmet was knocked upward preventing him from properly tracking the puck. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged the play and was shocked when the referees announced it was a good goal.

“All the times I have asked for challenges, since we have been allowed to do this, this one I am 100% sure I am right,” Vigneault explained on MSG Network following the game. “In my opinion it was the wrong call. At the end of the day, we didn’t play well enough in the third period, we got outplayed.”

A few minutes after the controversial call, Aho struck again to give Carolina the lead, this time for good.

Blueshirt Bullet Points:

1) I have no idea why Tanner Glass was on the ice in the final minute as the Rangers tried to even the game up. The only logical explanation is that the other eight forwards on the bench were completely gassed but that is hard believe as we are clearly grasping at straws.

2) Same could be said for Steven Kampfer playing over Adam Clendening once again.

3) Derek Stepan’s slump has been a hot button topic and his goal-scoring drought extended to 23 games after failing to score against the Hurricanes. However, he did record two assists on the man-advantage, and registered a new career-high with 10 shots on goal. If he continues to play like he did against Carolina, the drought will be over in no time.

4) The Rangers power play finally converted, ending a rough stretch as the special teams unit registered three power-play goals. Mika Zibanejad cashed in twice while Chris Kreider converted to open up the scoring. The Blueshirts tallied three or more power play goals in a game for the second time this season (New York registered four power play goals on Dec. 29 at Arizona).

5) Raanta made a couple of splendid saves throughout the contest, but the Rangers had several defensive breakdowns which led to several high-quality scoring chances or Carolina.

6) Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash were late scratches this morning and the Rangers called up Brandon Halverson. Vigneault mentioned that Nash has been dealing with an injury for a while and it was “just too painful to play today.” The Blueshirts should give Nash a chance to fully recuperate before the postseason begins.

7) ICYMI: Jim Cerny and Scott Charles spoke to former Rangers captain Kelly Kisio on Blueshirt Radio.