The Carolina Hurricanes clinched first place in the Metropolitan Divison on Tuesday night with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. The result was not nearly as damaging as the news during the second period that both Andrew Copp and Artemni Panarin would not return for the rest of the evening due to injuries.
The Rangers said Panarin suffered an upper-body injury, with Copp suffering a lower-body injury. After the loss, Gerrard Gallant said the players were kept out of the remainder of the game in an abundance of caution.
“They told me between periods, ‘Do you want them back? And I said no, I need them back next week,” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant, who added that the two forwards should be fine. “I hate to see it, but I’d [rather] be cautious than not have them when the games really matter.”
Gallant seemed to have no intention of sitting any of his players as the regular-season schedule concludes this week. That mindset changed following last night’s loss with the head coach admitting, “I’ll think about it tomorrow morning.”
With the Rangers down two forwards and Kappo Kakko still out with an injury, the Rangers battled back from a three-goal deficit to get within one when Alexis Lafreniere scored a late third-period goal to bring the score to a 4-3 Carolina advantage, but that was as close as the Rangers could get.
News & Notes
- Chris Kreider scored his 52nd goal of the season, tying Adam Graves (1993-94) for the second-most goals in a single season in franchise history. Kreider is the 11th player in NHL history, first since Ilya Kovalchuk in 2005-06, to have 52 or more goals and 26 or more power-play goals in a season. With the goal, Kreider surpassed Bill Cook to take sole possession of 10th place on the Ranger’s all-time goals list with 229 goals. Kreider added an assist in the third period, tying his career-high in assists with 25. Tonight was Kreider’s 22nd multi-point game of the year. Kreider has points in five-straight games (2G-4A), eight of his last 10 games (6G-5A), and in 14 of his last 18 contests (12G-9A).
- Jacob Trouba established a career-high with his 11th goal of the season, tying Adam Fox for the most goals by a Rangers defenseman this season. His goal gave New York its 40th goal by defensemen this season. Trouba has one goal and three assists for four points in his last six games and six points (1G-5A) in his last 11 contests.
- Mika Zibanejad assisted on Trouba’s goal, extending his point streak to five games (2G-4A). Zibanejad has points in eight of his last nine games (2G-8A) and in 15 of his most recent 19 games (5G-15A). Since April 1, Zibanejad’s 12 points are the third most in New York. Zibanejad has points in seven-straight games against Carolina (5G-7A).
- Adam Fox notched his 62nd assist of the year and his 73rd point, tying Brad Park (1971-72) and Reijo Ruotsalainen (1984-85) for the ninth most points in a single season by a Rangers defenseman. Fox has points in four of his last five games (1G-5A). Fox’s 62 assists rank second in the NHL among defensemen while his 73 points rank fourth among defensemen.
- Alexis Lafrenière scored his 18th goal of the season, extending his point streak to three games (1G-2A). Lafrenière’s 18 even-strength goals are the second most in New York. He has three goals in his last five games. In addition, Lafrenière’s goal brought him to 30 points on the season (18G-12A). (via NYRPR)
Kreider Wins Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award
Chris Kreider was named the 2021-22 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and passed away on January 10, 2017.
The Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.