Sunday, September 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning up next: Hurricanes fall to Rangers

NEW YORK — For the second time in a week, the Rangers used a strong third period at home to beat the Hurricanes.

Chris Kreider scored twice 4:46 apart late in the third period to lift the Rangers to a 4-2 victory Saturday.

"We found a way in the third period," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "When the game was on the line, to play our best hockey to get two points, we'll take it and get ready for the next game."

On Tuesday night, the Rangers trailed 2-0 before pulling within one in the second and scoring twice in the third to beat Carolina 3-2.

Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists, and Michael Grabner also scored, and Mats Zuccarello had two assists for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots to bounce back from a shaky outing at Buffalo two nights earlier and pick up his 11th win of the season.

New York is 8-0-1 after a loss this season and has not lost consecutive games in regulation. The Rangers also improved to 21-3-0 in the past 24 meetings with Carolina at Madison Square Garden.

Viktor Stalberg and Victor Rask scored for Carolina, which concluded a three-game road trip and fell to 1-4-1 in its past six games. It returned home after the game to face the Lightning on Sunday.

Michael Leighton finished with 24 saves in his second start of the season.

"You got to be able to spend more time in the offensive zone," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "When you are not in the offensive zone, that means you are going to spend too much time defending. And we did that in the final 20 minutes."

Carolina (9-10-5) had a strong first period, outshooting the Rangers 15-3, but Stepan's goal 4:05 in gave New York a 1-0 lead.

Stalberg, who scored twice in the Hurricanes' loss here Tuesday night, tied it as he beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot on the glove side. Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh tried to skate the puck out of trouble but turned it over in the neutral zone, leading to Carolina's odd man rush.

"He fits the modern game, a big guy that can skate well," Peters said of Stalberg. "That's what he does. He's a guy that makes it hard (on the opponent)."

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