Rangers Beat Hurricanes 3-2
In the first game played for the Rangers since the All-Star Break, the team prevailed with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.
By midway through the first period, the Rangers jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead and seemed to be on their way to a dominating and easy home ice performance. The first goal came from defenseman Lauri Korpikoki on a rebound chip in from a Scott Gomez shot. The second goal, at the 10 minute mark of the period, came directly from the stick of Gomez for his 10 th goal of the season.
Several minutes later however the Hurricanes were able to close the gap with a goal from Ryan Bayda. The goal effectively ended the momentum of the Rangers and the remainder of the first period largely belonged to visiting Carolina, which out shot New York 15-14.
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The game was the first of two back to back games for the Rangers, who play in Pittsburgh Wednesday. Because of this, backup goalie Steve Valiquette started in goal Tuesday night against the Hurricanes. In one of his best games of the season, Valiquette stopped 33 shots and held off the swarming rushes of an aggressive Hurricanes team, particularly in the second and third periods.
The second period didn't see any scoring, in no small part thanks to the play of Valiquette. The Hurricanes managed to create several good scoring chances in the period and were dictating the pace and action of the game. This was until the Hurricanes were on the power play and Chris Drury made a classic Drury play.
Pressing the puck handler, Drury was able to poke away the puck and race towards open nice. In what ended up being a near breakaway opportunity, Drury fired a low shot towards Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. While Ward made the save, the effort displayed by Drury seemed to reignite the stagnant Rangers.
In the third period, Brandon Dubinsky sent home the game winner, his 8 th of the season. Carolina once again answered, this time within 30 seconds, to keep the game close at 3-2. The Rangers were able to stave off the comeback however, again, with great goaltending from Valiquette.
The Rangers have won five of their last six games, including their last two in a row.
ProHockey-fans.com NY Rangers Correspondent
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