Richards Scores Twice, Rangers Down ‘Canes

The New York Rangers took care of business on Tuesday night with a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers top line of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Carl Hagelin continued to stay hot, accumulating nine points tonight. Gaborik gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead three minutes into the first period when he scored off a shot from Dan Girardi that bounced in front of the net and onto Gaborik’s stick. Gaborik’s 34th goal of the season ties him for third in the NHL in goals scored.

Brad Richards extended the Rangers in the second period with a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Hurricane goaltender Cam Ward. Three minutes later Richards netted his second goal of the game when he took a beautiful no look pass from Hagelin, and snapped a shot passed a sprawled out Ward.

The Rangers were coasting with a 3-0 lead until the Hurricanes scored two goals in thirty two seconds to cut the lead to 3-2. Tim Brent slipped a power play goal past Marty Biron (27 saves) with six minutes to go in the second. Thirty seconds later, the Hurricanes turned a bad offensive zone pass by the Rangers into a three-on-two, and Drayson Bowman scored on a deflected shot from Brandon Sutter.

The Rangers top line continued to put the pressure on the Hurricanes and with seven minutes to go in the game Carl Hagelin took the puck from behind the net and wrapped it around Ward to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead, and victory.

Brad Richards has scored five goals in the last three games and has shown good chemistry with linemate Hagelin. “I’m understanding how he plays now that I am playing with him every night” says Richards about Hagelin ” it’s getting to the point now where we are expecting big plays from him. It’s good that the pressure is on him to produce.”

Richards and the Rangers will put their modest two game win streak on the line against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh has been the hottest team in the NHlL of late winning nine in a row. The Rangers will also see the return of Sidney Crosby to the Penguin lineup.

The Hurricanes will host the St.Louis Blues (97 pts) Thursday night in Carolina.

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