cam ward

RECAP: Hurricanes Stun Rangers

My Gawd! Carolina! Stunner! Stunner!

There’s another gratuitous Stone Cold GIF for ya! And that’s the bottom line, because JFK said so!

But in all seriousness, our local National Hockey League franchise beat a very good New York Rangers team Thursday night at the PNC by a 4-3 margin.

Our young friend Sebastian Aho contributed a couple of third-period goals on the evening, including the game winner on a power play. For all the haters out there — most of whom know nothing about hockey — Cam Ward had a season-high 40 saves in this one. Guess what? It isn’t all his fault!

This was unexpected, considering this team couldn’t beat the Avalanche this season. But it is also encouraging! Lest we forget, the Rangers are far and away the NHL’s best road team, winning almost 75% of their games away from the Garden. No, we aren’t making the playoffs. But maybe the young guys can build off of this in this perpetual, never-ending rebuilding process.

Cliff Notes

Not gonna lie, wasn’t feeling too warm and fuzzy about this one. I certainly wasn’t feeling great after Chris Kreider put New York up 1-0 on a power play. I assumed we would fold like a cheap suit, but nope! Jeff Skinner came up with an answer.

And just 30 seconds after that, newest Cane Valentin Zykov — not to be confused with Valentin Zukovsky from GoldenEye — scored his first NHL goal in his NHL debut! Check it out:

2-1 good guys after 1.

In the second, it was all Rangers. Well, all Mika Zibanejad. He got two goals on two power plays to put New York in front 3-2 at the second intermission.

Fortunately, it was all Aho in the deciding game. Goals 19 and 20 on the season both came on PPs as well. The Rangers had a couple of looks at the end, including one that banged off the post with about 3:30 to go. But, lucky for us, they couldn’t tie it up.

Storm Category

4. That’s a great win, folks. Penalties were costly — all three Ranger goals resulted from power plays. But this is the best win we’ve had in a long time.

Cane of the Game

I’m impatient. I expect results. I’m giving the nod to Zykov for immediately stepping up and delivering on Day One.

Enemy of the State

It’s still Jim Boeheim. He’s from New York, so you can blame him on the Rangers.

What’s Next?

That would be the Toronto Maple Leafs in the City of Oaks on Saturday. Then a home-and-home with the homeless Islanders Monday and Tuesday.

With tonight’s win, the Hurricanes “improve” to 27-27-10 on the season.

Until next time, everyone.

Cam Ward photo credit Gregg Forwerck/Carolina Hurricanes