The New York Rangers didn’t hold up their end of the bargain Friday night. They had a tilt for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Hurricanes completely outplayed them for the majority of the game. They won most of the puck battles and took advantage of plays off faceoffs. Both teams have 56 points, but the Hurricanes have four games in hand, while the Pittsburgh Penguins sit one point behind with a game in hand on the Blueshirts in the Metro.
DeAngelo: 3 Points Against Former Team
Tony DeAngelo, who was released by the Rangers last season after an incident in the locker room, had a goal and two assists in his first game against his former team. He assisted on two of the Hurricanes’ three first-period goals. DeAngelo scored the sixth and final goal for the Canes to quell the Rangers’ mounting comeback.
The Rangers came out in the third period and scored two goals after being down 5-1 at the end of the second. They were starting to build momentum, and the goal by the former disgruntled Rangers’ defenseman pretty much put the game out of reach. He was named the first star of the game.
Goodrow Hit Sparks Team and Nonsense
This season, the trend of players having to fight or answer to an opposing team’s player for delivering a hard and clean hit is unnerving. Jacob Trouba has seen plenty of this nonsense, and it happened again after Barclay Goodrow popped Teuvo Teravainen early in the second period. Goodrow’s hit put Teravainen out of the game and provided a spark for his teammates, and it was a clean play. That’s hockey.
However, Jespari Kotkinemi felt the clean hit needed to be answered and came at Goodrow, earning himself a four-minute roughing penalty while Goodrow was given two minutes for roughing. Mika Zibanejad scored on the ensuing power play, but the Rangers didn’t do much after that for the rest of the period and ended up down 5-1, heading into the third.
The team played a bit better to start the final period and got another power-play goal from Chris Kreider, who’s tied with Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers at the top of the NHL in that category. Shortly after that, Greg McKegg notched his first of the season to bring the Rangers within two at about the six-minute mark. Unfortunately, the comeback stalled, and the game was put to bed with DeAngelo’s goal.
Faceoffs and Compete Level
The Hurricanes mirrored their head coach Rod Brind’amour with their compete level in Friday’s game. Unfortunately, the Rangers didn’t have the same level of intensity their head coach Gerard Gallant used to play with. Plus, they lost the battle at the faceoff dot. The Hurricanes are one of the best in the league, they generate scoring chances and goals off of draws like nobody’s business, and they did against the Rangers. The Hurricanes consistently beat the Rangers to loose pucks and battle’s along the boards, which led to their 6-3 win. The Blueshirts need to change that the next time they play the Hurricanes if they want to be taken seriously for the top spot in the division.
Rangers Lesson’s Learned
It appears Tony DeAngelo has learned a lesson or two and is getting his career back on track. The Rangers should know by now that coming from behind isn’t a recipe for success. They also need to learn to compete harder and win puck battles on the edges if they want to compete with Carolina in their remaining three tilts or in the playoffs.
Scott Blair is an author and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, by way of Detroit, MI. Uniquely diverse experiences have shaped Scott’s life in both of those places he calls home. He is now traveling the world, learning and growing as a human and a writer. He was a professional hockey player and then turned to the arts, becoming an actor for about 15 years. His passions turned to poetry, prose, politics, and journalism when he got tired of the Hollywood machine and what it represents. Scott is available for interviews and welcomes questions and topic ideas.