The New York Rangers’ winning streak came to an unfortunate end, as they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Friday night.
The scoring came mostly via two of the 36 skaters on the ice, as Mats Zuccarello put in both Rangers tallies. The first goal came on the power play, as Zuccarello put one past Cam Ward for the 1-0 lead. Along with Pavel Buchnevich, the goal was assisted by Mika Zibanejad, who took over the team lead in points with 8 on the young season.
However, always there to respond was Jeff Skinner, the Canes’ star young forward. Skinner had his first multi-goal game since March 21 of last season, first scoring just over four minutes after Zuccarello‘s first score, allowing Carolina to tie things up before the first period ended. Skinner struck again in the second in the early stages, a goal from Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin.
Zuccarello got the crowd, which had its very good share of Rangers fans despite it being the Hurricanes’ home opener, back into the game with a breakaway goal from Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist, the second assist by a Rangers goalie this season. Alas, Hurricane Skinner struck again, ending the period much the way he began it, by firing it toward the net, this time on a power play, and the puck found its way into the net. Believing Skinner scored his third goal of the night, Hurricanes fans showered the ice with caps, handed out at the PNC Arena entrance upon their arrival. The goal, scored in literally the final second and was later awarded instead to Bryan Bickell, turned out to be the difference, as the Rangers were unable to put sustained pressure on Ward in the final frame, and the Rangers fell 3-2.
The loss ended a 3-game winning streak for the Rangers (5-3-0) who have dropped
two in a row to Carolina after previously winning 19 of the past 20 meetings. By winning their home opener, the Hurricanes (2-3-2) ended a two-game losing streak. Previously the Hurricanes had two wins in their home openers. In those couple, they reached the Stanley Cup Final, falling to Detroit in 2002 before defeating Edmonton in 2006. The next of three remaining matchups will come on November 29 against Carolina.
Following the loss, the Rangers will return home to Madison Square Garden to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (7:00 PM, MSG).