Hurricanes score 3 goals in 3rd to topple Rangers

NEW YORK — Seth Jarvis and Jordan Staal scored third-half goals and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-2 in a showdown for first place in the Metropolitan Division on Tuesday night.

Chris Kreider scored his 50th goal of the season late on, but Carolina moved four points ahead of second-place New York with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Kreider became the fourth player in Rangers history to reach the plateau. His previous career high was 28 goals.

“It’s difficult after a game like this,” said Kreider. “It’s something I appreciate, it’s just hard to appreciate now.”

Rangers had ended their three-game winning streak but are 7-2-1 in the last 10. A win over Ottawa last Saturday secured them a playoff spot for the first time since 2017 and they are 24 at home : 8: 4.

“The first was really good. In the second they kind of took the momentum away and then in the third they scored the early goal,” said Rangers coach Gerard Gallant. “Tonight was a balanced game for me. … We learned some lessons.”

The Rangers’ strong power play went 0 to 4 while the Hurricanes played strong defense when needed.

“That was the game in a nutshell,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour. “You score in one of those and it’s a completely different game.”

After teams traded goals in the second period, Jarvis gave the Hurricanes a 1:04 lead in the third period by taking a pass from Sebastian Aho and assisting a backhand to goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Aho ended the game with one goal and two assists. He leads the Hurricanes with 41 assists and 75 points. Shesterkin made 21 saves.

The goal was the 14th of the season for rookie Jarvis, a first-round draft pick by Carolina in 2020. Former Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei also assisted.

“Everyone knew how big the game was,” Jarvis said. “Whatever we can do to increase the gap is good.”

Staal, the Hurricanes captain, made it 3-1 with his 14th goal at 6:42. Staal has scored six goals in his last four games. Skjei and another former Ranger, forward Jesper Fast, had assists.

“It was weird going into the building and going the other way,” Skjei said of his first game at The Garden since joining Carolina in February 2020. “It was good to see some people on the rink that I hadn’t seen.” And it was much better that we won.”

Kreider scored his milestone goal at 18:22 but Aho added an empty net, his 34th, at 19:54 to complete the goal.

With a chance to put the Hurricanes in first place, Rangers welcomed Carolina on their first visit to Madison Square Garden since December 27, 2019.

“To be here in the morning, I would look at the rafters and check everything,” said Jarvis, a 20-year-old Winnipeg Native who is traveling to New York for the first time. “It was super cool and a goal was great.”

Rangers went 18-1-0 in their last 19 home games against the Hurricanes, proving why they were at the top of the division for most of the season.

The teams split up the first two meetings of the season in North Carolina. The Hurricanes won 6-3 on Jan. 21, then Rangers won 2-0 on March 20.

“We came out hard, we fought and just came up a little short,” said Adam Fox, a Rangers defender.

Rangers beat the Hurricanes 14-8 in a scoreless first game before defenseman K’Andre Miller opened the scoring for 1:03 of the second goal. Miller converted a pass from Mika Zibanejad into his seventh goal of the season. Frank Vatrano also assisted.

Zibanejad has a career-best 48 assists, including four in his last three games.

Vatrano has registered six goals and four assists in 14 games with the Rangers since being acquired from Florida last month.

Andrei Svechnikov equalized with his 29th goal at 13:38 of the second for Carolina. Svechnikov managed to deflect the puck off Shesterkin’s skate from behind the goal line. Assists went to Jarvis and Aho.

Kreider became the fourth player in NHL history to score a first 50 goals at age 30 or older. He tied Walt Tkaczuk with 227 for the 11th-most goals in Rangers history.

Gallant praised his hard-working left wing, drafted by Rangers in 2009, who has spent his entire career in New York.

“I think it’s great that he’s scored 50 goals. That’s huge. It’s great to see,” said Gallant. “It’s a shame we lost when a guy scores his 50th goal but hats off to him.”

HATFIELD ON KREIDER

Vic Hadfield, the first Rangers player to reach 50 goals in 1972, said he was thrilled Kreider would be joining an exclusive club that also includes Adam Graves, 52, and Jaromir Jagr, who holds the team record of 54 holds.

“He’s a special player. He puts himself in the right position, goes to the front area where nobody is. He’s doing so well,” said Hadfield, who has 262 goals for Rangers and whose No. 11 jersey is hanging from The Rafters in retirement. “No one’s happier than me. It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid.”

REMARKS: The teams will meet again on April 26th at MSG. … The Hurricanes have six former Rangers on their roster. four played. … Rangers scratched forwards Greg McKegg, Filip Chytil, Julien Gauther, Tyler Motte and Jonny Brodzinski and defenders Patrik Nemeth and Libor Hajek. … The Hurricanes scratched Derek Stepan, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and defenseman Ethan Bear.

NEXT

Ranger: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesdays.

Hurricanes: host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

About Mike Crayton

Check Also

Pandemic and labor shortages keep hurricane victims in limbo

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Nearly six years after Thad Artis was forced from his home …