As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again”, and it strikes at Madison Square Garden this afternoon as the New York Rangers face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time in three games (1:00, MSG)
The Rangers (16-8-1), after defeating Carolina 3-2 on Tuesday in a come-from behind victory, fell to the Buffalo Sabres in between, dropping a 4-3 decision on Thursday night. Ryan McDonagh scored his first goal of the season on a power play, while Rick Nash and Marc Staal added others, but they were unable to contain Buffalo’s Jack Eichel. In the young superstar’s second game back, he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals, completing the comeback effort single-handedly in the third period.
Carolina (9-9-5) also dropped their game in between, though they did manage to muster a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to Boston at TD Garden. Noah Hanifin scored the lone Hurricanes goal, his second of the season. This will wrap up a three game road trip for the Hurricanes, who return home to play Tampa Bay in Raleigh on Sunday.
Thus far, the Rangers have split the season series with Carolina, including Tuesday’s come from behind victory. The Rangers appeared doomed in the first period, down 2-0 courtesy of a pair from former comrade Viktor Stalberg, but after a goal by Nick Holden in the second cut the lead in half, Rick Nash took over in the third period, scoring in the opening minute of the final frame before assisting on Jimmy Vesey’s game winning. Carolina took the first set at home in October, a 3-2 final sparked by two Jeff Skinner goals.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490