The resilient Rangers, playing without their captain Ryan Callahan, surrendered the game's first goal, but never looked back again skating to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night at the RBC Center. The Blueshirts, who earned their 20th road victory of the season, have now won three straight overall and lead the Eastern Conference with 88 points.
Callahan did not play due to a bruised foot, and was replaced in the Rangers lineup by John Scott, who made his Blueshirts debut. The Rangers also had to make due without defenseman Michael Del Zotto in the third period after he suffered a hip injury. No further information was available after the game about Del Zotto's hip issue.
After allowing a Jeff Skinner power play goal 58 seconds into the second period to fall behind 1-0, the Rangers reeled off three straight goals of their own to grab control of the contest. Artem Anisimov Tied the game with his 12th goal at 8:21 when he one-timed a Marian Gaborik feed past Cam Ward. Only moments before at the other end of the ice Rangers goaltender Martin Biron made a pair of scintillating saves to hold the Hurricanes at bay.
Gaborik netted his 30th goal of the season to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 14:53 of the second. Derek Stepan, who had two assists, chipped a Stu Bickel pass up and over Ward, where Gaborik backhanded the loose puck into the back of the cage. Gaborik has now reached the 30-goal plateau for the seventh time in his NHL career, and for the second time in three seasons with the Rangers.
Early in the third period Brandon Prust converted a 2-on-1 feed from Brian Boyle at 1:57 to put the Blueshirts ahead 3-1. The goal was Prust's fourth of the season.
The desperate Hurricanes had a string of good scoring chances after Prust's goal, but Biron was stout between the pipes until Jay Harrison jammed one over the goal line with 39.7 seconds left in regulation. Biron finished with 21 saves for his 11th win in 16 starts this season.