Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Hurricanes 3

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
9:31
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: The Rangers kicked off a two-game Southeast swing by topping the struggling Canes 5-3 for their fourth consecutive victory, improving to 14-5-3 on the season. Twice erasing one-goal deficits, the Rangers mounted a three-goal second period to edge Carolina in the host team's second game under new head coach Kirk Muller.

Second-period surge: Trailing 2-1 after the first period, the Rangers rattled off three straight in the second within a five-minute span. The Rangers had a dominant middle frame Tuesday as well, putting up a four-spot against Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to sink Pittsburgh.

Another good game for Gaborik: Star sniper Marian Gaborik scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 11:50 of the second, converting a pretty slip pass from Artem Anisimov for a 3-2 Rangers lead. Gaborik also picked up a primary assist as after Sean Avery beat Cam Ward with a snapshot at 13:47.

Pair from D: Defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer both tallied goals in the team's 14th win of the season. McDonagh leads the defensive corps with four goals while Sauer scored his first of the season on a delayed penalty at 5:42 of the third.

Early exit: John Mitchell left the game with less than seven minutes to play in the third period after taking a shot to the side of his helmet. Mitchell appeared to be bleeding from above his right eye, but was able to skate off to the trainer's room on his own.

Still streaking: With an assist on Sauer's third-period goal, Rookie winger Carl Hagelin has recorded a point in each of the four games he's played since being called up from the AHL's Connecticut Whale last Thursday.

Off the draw: Canes center Brandon Sutter beat 21-year-old Derek Stepan from the face-off circle to set up Jiri Tlusty's goal only 35 seconds into play.

Not so fast: The Rangers tied the game a little more than a minute later on captain Ryan Callahan's 10th of the season. Brad Richards picked up an assist on the play, shooting the puck to Callahan in front for a power-play goal.

Power-ful play: With Callahan scoring on the man-advantage at 1:42 of the first, the Rangers have tallied a power-play goal in each of their last four games. During that span they have gone 5-for-17.

Canes captain still struggling: Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has picked up his game since a seven-game scoreless streak from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11, but not by much. Limited to only two assists Thursday, the two-time 40-goal scorer has only five goals and nine assists in 27 games this season. Staal’s hit on younger brother Marc during a game last February left the Rangers defenseman with post-concussion symptoms; he remains on injured reserve and has yet to play a game this season.

Up next: Rangers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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