Three weeks ago, the Carolina Hurricanes peppered Henrik Lundqvist with 47 shots, only to fall short, losing 4-2 to the New York Rangers.
That was part of a four-game Carolina losing streak and a slide that threatened to undo a 5-0-0 start.
This time, the Hurricanes have recovered from the slide and seek their third straight win and a rare win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night when they visit the New York Rangers, who also are seeking their first three-game winning streak.
The last meeting with the Rangers took place in Carolina on Nov. 7 when Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho were the only ones to score on Lundqvist. Carolina outshot the Rangers 47-19 that night, including 22-6 in the opening period.
It was part of a four-game skid from Nov. 2-9 in which Carolina was outscored 17-7 and part of a 4-8 skid from Oct. 12 to Nov. 9 where the Hurricanes gave up 37 goals.
Since the sub-par 12-game stretch, the Hurricanes are 6-1 in their last seven, a stretch in which they have totaled 30 goals. Six of those goals are by Aho, who scored in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Detroit and leads the team with 12 goals.
Aho scored in a game where the Hurricanes outshot Detroit 36-19 after outshooting Florida 34-23 the previous night in a 4-2 win.
“It’s been great the last two games. That’s the way you want to play,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It was impressive that we didn’t come off the gas and didn’t give up much. The first period wasn’t sharp, but we locked it down from there.”
The Hurricanes are trying to get consecutive wins over the Rangers in New York for the first time since winning three straight from Jan. 2 to Oct. 29, 2010. Carolina was 0-13-3 in its previous 16 visits until Petr Mrazek made 27 saves in a 3-0 win on Feb. 8.
New York is coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday that followed up a comeback from a four-goal deficit Saturday night in Montreal. The Rangers have won three of four since getting outscored 13-6 in losses at Tampa Bay and Florida over Nov. 14-16.
On Monday, defenseman Anthony DeAngelo scored 32 seconds into overtime, Chris Kreider netted the tying goal on a power play late in regulation and Artemi Panarin collected three assists as the Rangers scored at least three goals for the ninth time in 10 games.
“It was a good night, for sure,” Lundqvist said after getting his 455th career win to move past Curtis Joseph into sole possession of fifth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. “I liked the way we played. We kept pushing. We didn’t give up. It’s a great sign for our group.”
Panarin is nearly as hot as Aho is of late. He has a point in 14 of his 15 last games and during that stretch, Panarin has eight goals and 16 assists.
Most of those games in Panarin’s hot stretch have been without Mika Zibanejad, who has missed 13 straight games due to an upper-body injury sustained from a hit by Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Oct. 27. The Rangers are 8-4-1 in those games, but it is possible Zibanejad could return Wednesday.
–Field Level Media