What it means: A breakout third period -- three goals scored in a span of three minutes -- fueled the Rangers to their sixth straight win, the team's longest streak since October 2009. An inspired performance by fan favorite Sean Avery and a 34-save effort from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist also helped the Rangers improve to 9-3-3 on the season.
A-very big night: Sean Avery ignited the crowd at MSG with his first goal of the season and delivered his best game since a much-anticipated return. Avery muscled past ‘Canes defenseman Bryan Allen to pounce on a bouncing puck and roofed it on the breakaway for a 1-0 Rangers’ lead at 9:43. Avery’s hustle also drew two penalties in the second period, an interference call on Allen at 9:59 and hooking on Jay Harrison at 13:45. His hard work earned him a promotion during the third period, when he was used on a line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards.
Dubinsky snaps drought: Without a single goal in the first 14 games of the season, Brandon Dubinsky tallied his first Friday, burying Ryan Callahan's rebound at 10:56. Dubinsky's goal came only nine seconds after defenseman Dan Girardi scored on the power-play to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Dubinsky also picked up an assist on Callahan's seventh of the season at 13:47. Brad Richards piled on for his fifth goal of the season with less than two minutes in regulation.
Hostile territory: Eric Staal, whose hit on younger brother Marc last February sidelined him with a concussion, was roundly booed each time he touched the puck in his first time facing the Rangers since the blow; the lingering symptoms resulting from the concussion have kept the 24-year-old out indefinitely. Staal remains on injured reserve and has yet to play a game this season. The 27-year-old center was taunted again in the third period, when he was whistled for a high-sticking penalty on Dan Girardi.
Still struggling: Staal, who has only three goals and two assists in 16 games this season, was held off the scoresheet for the seventh straight game.
Honoring a legend: The Rangers honored boxing legend Joe Frazier with a video tribute during a television timeout during the first period. The iconic pugilist, who lost his battle with liver cancer Monday at age 67, fought ten times at Madison Square Garden including his defeat of Muhammad Ali in 1971 dubbed “The Fight of the Century.” The parting quote on the scoreboard: “We will never forget that left hook.”
Up Next: Rangers vs. Islanders, Tuesday November 15 at 7 p.m.