December 28, 2019 / 3:07 AM / 25 days ago

Rangers end power-play drought, down Hurricanes

Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals, and the New York Rangers scored three times in the second period while recording a 5-3 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

Dec 27, 2019; New York, New York, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Nino Niederreiter (21) reacts after missing a shot during the first period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers beat the Hurricanes for the third time in as many meetings this season and improved to 18-1-0 in their past 19 home games against Carolina. New York also beat the Hurricanes for the 30th time in the past 36 meetings.

Zibanejad recorded his third multi-goal game in his past seven games and fourth overall this season. He added an assist and notched his third game with at least three points — though the others were the first two games of the season.

Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist on Zibanejad’s first goal. Artemi Panarin scored his team-leading 21st goal for the Rangers, who entered the game 1-3-1 in their last five games and scoreless in 18 power-play chances.

Panarin added two assists, setting up Zibanejad’s second goal and Ryan Strome’s insurance goal with 6:11 remaining in the third.

Lucas Wallmark scored in the first period, defenseman Brett Pesce tallied late in the second, and Sebastian Aho scored early in the third for the Hurricanes. Carolina lost its third straight game following a seven-game points streak (6-0-1).

New York’s Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves. He helped the Rangers kill off five Carolina power plays with 14 saves while New York was short-handed, including seven after Kreider was penalized for an illegal check to the head of Dougie Hamilton in the third period.

Carolina’s James Reimer finished with 19 saves.

Wallmark opened the scoring 5:15 into the game by putting a one-timer past Lundqvist from the middle of the slot after getting a pass from Teuvo Teravainen.

The Rangers ended their power-play drought with 3:29 remaining in the first when Kreider slid the puck under Carolina defenseman Joel Edmundson’s skate to Zibanejad, who lifted the puck into the upper right corner of the net.

Kreider put the Rangers on top 87 seconds into the second by finishing off an odd-man rush with Zibanejad. Panarin lifted a loose puck from near the crease over Reimer a little over six minutes later for a 3-1 lead, and Zibanejad scored his second goal by flipping a shot past Reimer with 6:46 remaining in the middle period.

The Hurricanes came back as Pesce finished off an odd-man rush with 2:49 left in the second before Aho flipped a wrist shot over Lundqvist 1:40 into the third.

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