New York
Rangers
42-27-13
Carolina
Hurricanes
43-33-6

35 SOG
27 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NYR
CAR
game recap

Hurricanes 3, Rangers 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

David Droschak

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Hurricanes 3, Rangers 1
New York Rangers 1, Carolina Hurricanes 3

Many of the Carolina Hurricanes stepped away from the game during the All-Star break, took a collective deep breath and realized there will be few, if any more, second chances over the final 30 games.  

The Canes looked refreshed, from goaltender Cam Ward to captain Rod Brind’Amour to a defensive crew that has been maligned recently, rallying for a decisive 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. 

“I just relaxed and did the best I could to take my mind away from the game,” said Ward. “I think everybody is in great shape so you don’t need the physical rest, but to have some mental rest and not think about things is always beneficial. I came back with a purpose to try to do what we can with these last 30 games and give ourselves a big push to make the playoffs.” 

Ward’s form reminded many of his October start, stopping 34 of 35 shots, while Brind’Amour notched his third game winner of the season and the defense blocked 15 shots.

“It’s easy to respond when you’ve got guys working extremely hard in front of you,” said Ward. “You want to give them the best effort you can. I realize I’ve got to come up with key saves in key situations of the game to give our team a chance, and fortunately I was able to make some.”

Carolina even brought their fists in a rough first period that may have set the tone for the final stretch run toward the playoffs.

“If we don’t stand up now there will be no spring,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We talked about a starting point, and that starting point was tonight.”

“We know what’s at stake, we’re a desperate hockey club,” added Brind’Amour. “I thought we were ready to play and played hard.”

Carolina put together one of its better second periods at home in two months to take a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

The Canes got goals from Sergei Samsonov and Brind’Amour about two minutes apart on odd-man rushes to rally after falling behind by a goal in a penalty-filled opening 20 minutes.  

Samsonov scored his third in the last six games to tie it at 1-1 on a 2-on-1 break with Ray Whitney, faking a shot and sliding the puck over to the Russian winger, who lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist.

A few shifts later, Brind’Amour corralled a puck in the New York zone after a missed shot and raced down the right wing as Samsonov was cutting on the opposite side of the ice. The Carolina captain hung on to the puck until the last possible second before lifting a backhander past the Rangers’ goalie.

“I think he likes it here. I think he’s happy in Carolina,” Laviolette said of Samsonov, who came to the Canes from Chicago on Jan. 8. “We’re certainly happy with him and what he’s brought to this team. He’s a good kid. He needed an opportunity and he got it and I hope he continues to run with it.”

The Canes then survived a frantic 45-second stretch near the end of the second after Ward lost his goalie stick as the Rangers tried for the equalizer.

“We could have easily panicked, but everybody did what they were supposed to do and we got the puck out of the zone with no harm,” said Ward.

Trevor Letowski, without a point in his last 15 games, gave the Canes some breathing room with his first goal since Dec. 15 less than four minutes into the third and Ward closed out the deal late after Carolina took a penalty with Lundqvist out of the net for an extra attacker.

Carolina faced an early 4-on-3 shorthanded situation after Scott Walker and Sean Avery, who was a marked man after his punch to the face of Andrew Ladd a month ago, were called for roughing before the puck dropped and Tim Gleason took a hooking penalty 28 seconds later. Brendan Shanahan cashed in on the power-play opportunity for a 1-0 Rangers lead.

“We’re in a battle here,” Walker said. “It’s no secret, we’re hanging on and just lingering around right now, so we wanted to set the tempo every game and go after it. We had some guys over there that I don’t know if they took liberties the last game, but you want to play within the rules and make sure they are not taking advantage of things. 

“He likes to take his space out there and I’m no stranger to wanting mine,” Walker added about the unusual altercation with Avery before the start of the clock. “It’s just one of those things.”

The Canes had ample time to tie it up over the next 10 minutes with a two-man advantage for 1:57 and another power play midway through the period, but Carolina managed just three shots on goal and just seven in a period that featured three fights.  

“We talked about everything before the game and whatever game was going to be played we were ready,” Laviolette said of the physical nature. “It just kind of holds things in check for everybody and lets the game be played."

NOTES: Gleason received a game misconduct early in the first after being a third man in a fight between Avery and Walker. … Ladd went without a cage to protect his injured face for the first time in a month. … Eric Staal played in his 225th consecutive game. … Ward started for the eighth time in the last nine games. … Staal won 14 of 21 faceoffs, but saw his five-game point streak end.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:02
NYR
PPG - Brendan Shanahan (16) Slapshot - ASST: Scott Gomez (37), Jaromir Jagr (32)
1 - 0 NYR
2nd Period
06:07
CAR
Sergei Samsonov (3) Backhand shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (27)
1 - 1 Tie
08:24
CAR
Rod Brind'Amour (18) Backhand shot - ASST: Mike Commodore (9)
2 - 1 CAR
3rd Period
03:40
CAR
Trevor Letowski (4) Snap shot - ASST: Chad LaRose (10), Bret Hedican (9)
3 - 1 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
00:00
CAR
Scott Walker  Roughing against  Sean Avery
00:00
NYR
Sean Avery  Roughing against  Scott Walker
00:28
CAR
Tim Gleason  Hooking against  Jaromir Jagr
03:41
CAR
Wade Brookbank  Fighting (maj) against  Colton Orr
03:41
NYR
Colton Orr  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Brookbank
04:22
NYR
Sean Avery  Misconduct (10 min)
04:22
NYR
Sean Avery  Instigator against  Scott Walker
04:22
NYR
Sean Avery  Fighting (maj) against  Scott Walker
04:22
CAR
Tim Gleason  Game misconduct
04:22
CAR
Scott Walker  Fighting (maj) against  Sean Avery
04:26
NYR
Brendan Shanahan  Hooking against  Eric Staal
08:32
NYR
Jason Strudwick  Holding against  Sergei Samsonov
13:14
CAR
Wade Brookbank  Fighting (maj) against  Colton Orr
13:14
NYR
Colton Orr  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Brookbank
13:38
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hooking against  Jaromir Jagr
13:38
NYR
Jaromir Jagr  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Bret Hedican
2nd Period
08:35
NYR
Jaromir Jagr  Holding against  Eric Staal
11:12
CAR
Bret Hedican  Cross checking against  Brandon Dubinsky
3rd Period
18:45
CAR
Erik Cole  Interference against  Brendan Shanahan
19:41
CAR
Niclas Wallin  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
goalie stats
Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist
SA: 27TOI: 59:00
Saves: 24EV: 18 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .889SH: 0 - 0
Cam Ward
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 34EV: 26 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .971SH: 0 - 0