Lundqvist, Nash lift Rangers over Hurricanes in SO
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers got complete effort to snap a losing streak. For the Carolina Hurricanes, it was another tough loss.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots and then all three attempts in a shootout, and Rick Nash scored the only goal in the tiebreaker to lift the Rangers over the Hurricanes 2-1 Thursday night.
Derick Brassard scored his third goal in his last three games to help New York (2-3-0) snap a three-game skid.
“I think we needed to feel we could play a solid, 60-minute game,” said Lundqvist. “You need every point you can get. Just because we had a great comeback (from early-season doldrums) last year, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen this year. We need to ... stay in the (playoff) race from the get-go.”
While New York is expected to contend for an Eastern Conference playoff berth, the Hurricanes could spend the season contending for the first overall pick in June’s Draft, and the opportunity to select either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
Still, Carolina (0-2-2) — one of four winless teams in the NHL along with Edmonton, Florida and Philadelphia — has earned points in the last two games.
“I think we played a strong 60-minute game,” defenseman Jay Harrison said. “Two games in a row we put back-to-back (a strong) effort.
″(It’s an) us-against-the world mentality.”
Chris Terry scored and Anton Khudobin made 33 saves for Carolina.
″(Khudobin) kept us in the game,” Harrison said. “We need our goalies to be pillars back there.”
Terry scored his third of the season at 16:53 of the second period with a wrist shot from the circle that beat Lundqvist blocker side.
New York tied it at 9:40 of the third when Brassard redirected Mats Zuccarello’s deflection of Dan Girardi’s point shot past Khudobin.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault juggled his lines as the game progressed, moving Ryan Malone onto the third line with Brassard and Zuccarello, and dropping training-camp sensation Anthony Duclair onto the fourth line.
“I was looking to find nine guys that I felt could give us a little spark,” Vigneault said. “I wanted to see what Malone could do a little bit more there with Brassard and Zucarello. (Chris Kreider) was fighting it a bit, so I was just trying to find nine guys that could give me a little more there.”
Vigneault also changed defense pairings as Kevin Klein was partnered with Marc Staal, and Matt Hunwick skated with John Moore.
“Sometimes you just got to shuffle the deck a little bit,” Vigneault said. “Took (Martin St. Louis) away from the center position there, tried a few different combinations, sometimes you just got to see what can happen, and see what might click.”
The personnel changes paid off on Brassard’s goal. Up to that point, New York’s best chance to tie the game occurred 6:25 into the third when Nash had two chances in close following Justin Faulk’s giveaway in the defensive zone. Khudobin made pad saves to stone Nash.
Despite not scoring in the regulation or overtime period to end his consecutive games with a goal streak to start the season at four, Nash put forth another strong effort as he finished with four shots and attempted five.
New York finished with advantages in shots on goal (34-29) and shot attempts (66-47).
“When your third shooter is Nash and he has six goals in (the five) games we’ve played so far, we are pretty confident,” Brassard said. “I’ve known him for a long time and as soon as I saw him in the first practice (in training camp), I knew he meant business. He’s been really good for us and we are going to need him to be good for the rest of the season.”
NOTES: Carolina forwards Patrick Dwyer, Eric and Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, and defenseman Andrej Sekera, missed the game with injuries. Dwyer and Staal did not make the trip. Skinner and Sekera did participate in the morning skate. ... Hunwick replaced Michael Kostka in New York’s lineup. ... The game marked the first of five in a row on the road for Carolina in a 12-day span, due to the North Carolina state fair. ... New York was 0 for 5 on the power play to fall to 0 for 16 this season.