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New York at Carolina

Gaborik nets league-leading 25th goal, Rangers dump 'Canes

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A pair of benched veterans returned for the New York Rangers. So did the team's confidence.

The Rangers won their third consecutive game by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Monday night behind Marian Gaborik's NHL-leading 25th goal.

Gaborik added an assist to increase his point total to 47, Brandon Dubinsky scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 shots and Marc Staal scored into an empty net for the Rangers.

They're on their longest winning streak since they reeled off seven in a row in October, and have come a long way since the 1-6-2 stretch led coach John Tortorella to shake things up by benching defenseman Wade Redden and right winger Ales Kotalik. Both were back on the ice against Carolina.

"We're just trying to gain some confidence, and [be] as consistent as you can be, and you find a way to win some hockey games, you start feeling better about yourself," Tortorella said. "We just need to stay within ourselves and try to play a simple game. When we're on the road, we think that ... It's just a matter of simplifying everything and just competing on pucks."

Sergei Samsonov gave Carolina a short-lived 1-0 lead and Cam Ward made 28 saves. But the NHL's worst team was denied its fourth two-game winning streak of a difficult season. The Hurricanes -- who haven't won three in a row all season -- have been significantly more competitive recently, but their 24 points is eight fewer than the league's second-worst team.

"It's a painful game, and we're not in position to wash those away," coach Paul Maurice said. "It was a hard-fought game that turned on a goal. ... We had our chances, there's no question about that, [but] just had a hard time getting a handle on it. But the effort was there."

Dubinsky, who also assisted on Gaborik's goal, put the Rangers ahead to stay with 18:39 left when he broke for the net, took a pretty feed from Gaborik and beat Ward high with a backhander for his first goal since Oct. 17.

"I had an opportunity to shoot it, and I took it to the backhand -- I don't know what I was thinking -- but luckily for me, it went in," Dubinsky said.

Lundqvist took care of the rest, stopping Carolina with an assortment of acrobatic saves down the stretch to help the Rangers polish off a sweep of a three-game road trip that also included victories at the New York Islanders and Philadelphia. They followed that by winning in Raleigh for just the third time in 11 visits.

"We went through such a tough stretch there -- it takes a little while to dig out of a hole," Dubinsky said. "Three wins in a row, and we're starting to turn things around and pick up our game. [Lundqvist] is playing awesome, and we're playing pretty good team D. If we can find a way to bury a few more chances, you know, we can take some pressure off ourselves in the third periods."

Neither team could get anything going offensively early -- the Rangers didn't even put the puck on net until about 7½ minutes in -- before Samsonov put Carolina up 1-0 with a wrap-around goal into an open net 46 seconds into the second.

The Rangers tied it 28 seconds later when Gaborik beat Ward with a wrist shot from the slot. He has four goals in six games, trailing only San Jose's Joe Thornton in points.

"We knew we were playing a pretty good game [entering the third], and the next goal wins, pretty much," Staal said. "We were confident, calm, going into the third. It's nice to have that feeling going into the third. We haven't really had that in a while."

Notes

  • This was the first of three meetings between the teams in a 13-day span.
  • New York scratched C Brian Boyle (back).
  • D Tim Gleason returned for Carolina after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
  • The Hurricanes pulled out a few stops for this one, inviting wrestler Ric Flair to sound the siren that precedes the team's entrance to the ice. Flair is considered a folk hero for Carolina, which after every goal plays a video of him exclaiming "Woo!"
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Marian Gaborik scores his fourth goal in the last six games and leads the league with 25.  (US Presswire)
Marian Gaborik scores his fourth goal in the last six games and leads the league with 25. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
NY Rangers  (17-16-3) «0123
Carolina (9-21-6)0101
Three Stars
M. Gaborik
NYR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Dubinsky
NYR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
H. Lundqvist
NYR


Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .970

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
46.0Sergei Samsonov (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Sutter, Carson
01:14Marian Gaborik (25), Wrist Shot. Assist: Dubinsky, Rozsival
3RD PERIOD
01:21Brandon Dubinsky (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Gaborik, Prospal
19:27Marc Staal (4), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:28Staal, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
10:46Gilroy, 2 min, Hooking
18:46Prospal, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
3RD PERIOD
05:18Staal, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
New York961631
Carolina8121333
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Henrik Lundqvist60:00321
Cam Ward59:29282
Game Information
Attendance - 16514
Referees - Tim Peel, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Brian Murphy
 
Other Games
Colu 2 Final
Pho 5
Mon 4 Final
OT
Atl 3
NJ 4 Final
Pitt 0
SJ 4 Final
Dal 2
Colo 4 Final
Min 3
TB 4 Final
NYI 2
StL 7 Final
Edm 2
Bos 2 Final
Ott 0
Fla 4 Final
Phi 1
Buf 3 Final
OT
Tor 2