|NYR||1||1||1||0||1 (1 - 3)||4|
|CAR||1||0||2||0||0 (0 - 3)||3|
Once just under two minutes away from seventh place in the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes had to settle for eighth.
Wojtek Wolski’s goal with 1:50 left in the third period tied the game late, with the New York Rangers then going on to win 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday night at the RBC Center. Although the Canes earned one point in defeat, they missed the opportunity to tie their opponents by way of a regulation victory that seemed within reach.
“Having a lead and letting it go was a tough way, and then a shootout loss is always tough,” said Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison. “We battled hard, and it was a real playoff-style game for us.”
Having trailed 2-1 heading into the third period against a team that was 20-0-0 when leading after two, the Hurricanes seemed to be on the verge of a comeback victory thanks to Jussi Jokinen’s 2 goals in the first 10 minutes. However, Wolski, who would go on to score the only goal in the shootout, tied the game when his centering feet hit Harrison’s stick and redirected into the Carolina goal.
“They got a little bit of a lucky bounce,” said Harrison, whose first-period breakaway goal and third-period assist on Jokinen’s second allowed him to tie a career high for points in one game.
Rather than rue their inability to protect their lead, the Hurricanes were instead left thinking about what might have been had they been able to add to it. With the Rangers pressing hard for the tying goal, the Canes had several odd-man rushes the other way, most of which did not generate quality shots on goal, or in some cases, any shots whatsoever.
“They’ll push five guys deep and they’ll make a mistake, and then you go down on your three-on-one for a shot,” said Maurice. “We didn’t put the shot on net, and it’s in our net, so you’ve got to capitalize on those.”
“It’s right there where we need to put the game away,” said Jokinen.
It would take an unfortunate deflection to beat Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, who made 43 saves on the evening, including several key stops in the third period. In the shootout, he stopped the Rangers’ Erik Christensen and Mats Zuccarello, who entered the game a combined 9-10 on the shootout this season, before Wolski beat him high glove to seal the victory.
“In shootouts it’s a lot going on me,” said Jokinen, who entered the game having scored on 48 percent of his career attempts but fell to 2-9 on the season. “I haven’t been at my best this season, and all three guys, Skinny, me and Sammy, had a kind of a no-pressure situation going there to get us a lead, but none of us could get the job done.”
The Rangers opened the scoring just 2:08 into the contest, when Sean Avery’s wraparound attempt crossed the crease in front of Ward with Brandon Prust waiting on the other end to bang it home. However, Harrison, who had just 2 career goals entering the game, would tie the game on an unlikely breakaway shot that hit the post before banking off Lundqvist and in.
”I thought he was outstanding,” said Maurice of Harrison.
Harrison would earn his second point when his slap shot from the point was intercepted by Jokinen, who rounded Lundqvist for his second tally in less than three minutes and his fourth multi-goal game of the season.
“I think Lundqvist thought I was going to tip it, so it was pretty much an empty net,” said Jokinen. “It was a pretty easy one to score.”
In between Harrison’s goal and Jokinen’s first, the Rangers’ Ryan Callahan scored what could have been a backbreaking goal with just 14 seconds left in the second period after the Canes had just killed around 30 seconds of a five-on-three power play.
Carolina will now prepare for a back-to-back set against Pittsburgh and Montreal that begins Friday. In doing so, they’ll try to maintain an even keel that balances the big wins with the tough losses, the latter of which they experienced against the Rangers.
“We battled hard, and it was a real playoff-style game for us,” said Harrison. “We’ve got some real positives to take out and some things to work on too.”
“We lost a game at home in overtime, and we’ll take the good out of it and move on to the next game,” said Maurice. “We’re not going to beat these guys up after every loss. This time of year is all about conserving all of your positiveness and confidence and keeping it even when you don’t get the result you want.”
NOTES: Ward made his 20th straight start in goal. His personal record is 28 … Ward has seen more shots from the Rangers (164) than any other team this season … With two assists, Cole now has 200 for his career … The Hurricanes (19-0-0) are the only team other than the Rangers to boast a perfect record when leading after two periods … Harrison is +7 in his last 14 games … The Canes fell to 14-3-1 when Sutter records a point … The Rangers’ Marc Staal left the game in the third period with a twisted knee.
|Brandon Prust (9) ASST: Sean Avery (20)|
1 - 0 NYR
|Jay Harrison (2) ASST: Brandon Sutter (9)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Ryan Callahan (16) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (12), Vinny Prospal (2)|
2 - 1 NYR
|Jussi Jokinen (13) ASST: Jamie McBain (18), Erik Cole (19)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Jussi Jokinen (14) ASST: Jay Harrison (6), Erik Cole (20)|
3 - 2 CAR
|Wojtek Wolski (11) ASST: Ryan McDonagh (4)|
3 - 3 Tie
|1||J. Skinner||E. Christensen|
|2||J. Jokinen||M. Zuccarello|
|3||S. Samsonov||W. Wolski|
|Vinny Prospal Slashing against Chad LaRose|
|Joni Pitkanen Hooking against Mats Zuccarello|
|Jeff Skinner Tripping against Marc Staal|
|Brian Boyle Kneeing against Jeff Skinner|
|Erik Cole Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Joni Pitkanen Hooking against Marc Staal|
|Ryan McDonagh Interference against Jiri Tlusty|
|SA: 33||TOI: 65:00|
|Saves: 30||EV: 25 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: .909||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 46||TOI: 65:00|
|Saves: 43||EV: 34 - 36|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 10|
|SV%: .935||SH: 0 - 0|