Kreider, Fast lead Rangers to 6-1 win over Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The New York Rangers started fast Wednesday night and never slowed down.
Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored two goals apiece, including Kreider’s first just 52 seconds into the game, and the Rangers rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Mika Zibanejad and Paul Carey followed Kreider with goals in the first 11 minutes as New York jumped out to a commanding lead. Kreider got his second goal 20 seconds into the third, and Fast scored twice in the final period to turn it into a rout.
“We came ready to play,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “This was a real solid team effort both offensively and defensively.”
Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves as the Rangers won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Sebastian Aho scored for the fifth game in a row and Teuvo Teravainen had an assist in his fifth straight to lead the Hurricanes. Scott Darling stopped just 21 of 27 shots.
“We’re not going to win a whole bunch of games if we’re not the hardest-working team,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “That type of effort isn’t going to get us the result that we need or the result that we want.”
New York grabbed the momentum early and never let it go.
Kreider snapped in a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle before the game was a minute old, and the Rangers doubled their lead less than two minutes later on a blunder by Darling.
Zibanejad nonchalantly flipped the puck toward the Hurricanes net from center ice as the Rangers prepared for a line change, but Darling whiffed trying to catch the airborne puck and it fell into the net.
“Probably the easiest goal I’ve ever scored,” Zibanejad said. “I didn’t mean to, but it went in.”
Aho briefly pulled the Hurricanes within one when he slapped home a power-play goal off a cross-ice pass from Teravainen, but Carey stuffed home a rebound along the left post just less than two minutes later to extend New York’s advantage.
That was all the cushion Lundqvist needed. The decorated goalie stopped the Hurricanes’ final 24 shots to squash any hopes of a comeback, including a spectacular, sprawling grab to rob Jordan Staal of a power-play goal that would’ve made it a one-goal game late in the first.
“That’s all part of it,” Vigneault said. “Our goalie makes some big saves, they didn’t have much until then, and after that we did a real good job in front of him. That was part of the team game that we needed and that we got.”
With Lundqvist holding off Carolina, the Rangers piled on in the third. Kreider buried a nifty backhand pass from Mats Zuccarello 20 seconds in, and Fast finished it with a pair of one-timers.
NOTES: The Rangers have scored at least three goals in 13 of their last 16 games. ... Teravainen has 11 points in his last five games and Aho has 10. ... Hurricanes forward Justin Williams played his 1,100th NHL game. He became the eighth active player to reach that mark. ... Rangers D Ryan McDonagh missed the game with an abdominal strain and C David Desharnais was a healthy scratch. ... D Klas Dahlbeck and C Victor Rask were healthy scratches for the Hurricanes.
Rangers: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday to start a four-game homestand.
Hurricanes: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday in the third of a four-game homestand.
An earlier version of this story was corrected to reflect that Lundqvist robbed Jordan Staal, not Eric Staal.
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