In the NFL teams are allowed to decline penalties. The Carolina Hurricanes, sporting the second worst percentage in the NHL with a man advantage, wishes they would have had the ability to decline all of the visiting New York Rangers penalties Friday night in Raleigh. Carolina went 0-4 on their PP chances, gave up a shorthanded goal on one of their opportunities and the eventual game winner for New York came on one of their four PP chances.
The Hurricanes jumped on the Rangers late in the first on a goal by Jordan Staal, his 12th of the season. They were able to hold onto the lead heading into the third period. New York was able to tie the game at one with Ryan McDonagh’s shorthanded goal. Jeff Skinner put Carolina back in the lead when he stole the puck and had a breakaway opportunity against Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The shot was missed but a whistle was blown on New York’s Anton Stralman for hooking and a penalty shot was awarded. Lundqvist was 0-3 against the penalty shot this season and Skinner made it 4 when he slipped it past the Rangers goalie’s glove. Rick Nash got the Rangers back in a tie when his attempted centering pass deflected off of a Carolina player.
With 4:30 left to play Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey sent the puck over the glass and into the stands when attempting to clear it from his zone. Early in New York’s power play Brett Bellemore did the exact same thing. The Rangers now had 1:30 of a two man advantage and the ‘Canes defense depleted. Newly acquired Martin St.Louis threw one across the goal mouth and Derek Stepan was wide open to rip the puck behind Hurricane goalie Anton Khubodin. With Khudobin pulled Ranger forward, Carl Hagelin, iced the game withhis 13th of the year.
Carolina travels to New Jersey for a game against the Devils on Saturday night and welcome these same Rangers back to the PNC Arena next Tuesday. The Hurricanes are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot sitting nine back of the Rangers, but with an offense struggling to find the net I keep hearing one of my favorite movie lines playing in my head. “So your telling me there’s a chance”