RALEIGH, NC – The Rangers will wake up on Thanksgiving with many things to be thankful for, and this gift of victory is one of them.
On a night when Brady Skjei said "it seemed like everything was going in our direction," the Rangers won a 6-1 victory over the careless Hurricanes at the PNC Arena on Wednesday. With a bit of early brilliance from Henrik Lundqvist, and two goals each from Chris Kreider and
Jesper Fast, the Rangers were able to close their third win of the season.
And they did it without captain Ryan McDonagh, who was marginalized at least during the weekend with a "slight tension" in his abdomen.
"It was a very simple game," said Skjei, who carried a big load in the absence of McDonagh, playing a strong 20:35. "Our defense played solid, and Hank played very well again, just another one of those games."
The Rangers (11-9-2) were far from perfect, especially in the first period, when Lundqvist saw 17 shots and allowed only the one-player power game of Sebastian Aho to defeat him. But the Hurricanes (9-7-4) were defensively disarticulated, leaving large fringes of ice open directly in front of goalkeeper Scott Darling, who did not make it easy when he allowed a scoring goal. the capture of an ice center, change of Mika Zibanejad who came in to put the 2-0 at 2:26 of the game.
"I started laughing," Zibanejad said. "But good to get the victory, a good feeling."
The first period was not the best of the Rangers, but they could still get a 3-1 lead when Zibanejad's lucky break was caught by a Kreider goal just 52 seconds and one at 10:47 by Paul Carey, the first as Ranger. That was complemented by Lundqvist making two outstanding salves of Jordan Staal, the second with a glove grip of his stomach at 11:56, the best of his 31 in general.
& # 39; That's part of that, "said coach Alain Vigneault. "Our goalkeeper made some great saves, and after that, we did a good job in front of him, that's just part of the team game that we needed and that we got."
Carolina collapsed in the third, when Kreider received a 20-second power shot, followed by two Fast goals at 5:45. and 12:26, just overtake the & # 39; Canes sin vida & # 39 ;. But most promising was the fact that the Rangers did not seem lost without their captain, something that was barely missed in the locker room.
"I think that's where the door opens, you get a little more chance, a little bit more ice," Brendan Smith said from under the Broadway hat, after being scratched for eight of the first 19 Team games, but picking up a great badist in Kreider's first goal playing what Vigneault called his "best game of the year".
"It's just a game," said Smith. "Fortunately, we recovered Mac as soon as possible, but if not, we have enough to fulfill the role."
The Rangers' roller coaster is now more than a quarter, and consistency is not its forte. Even within this unique game, they sometimes seemed offensively dynamic and fast, with the Hurricanes having frightful control, but the Rangers made tape-to-tape pbades that ended in goals. However, on other occasions, they treated the record like a hand grenade, like when Vigneault did not see Zibanejad's goal because he was digging Kevin Shattenkirk into the bank for one of his few changes.
But when they were given the opportunity to bury an injured team, they did exactly that.
"We came ready to play," said Vigneault, and now they're ready to enjoy the holidays.