Warren Foegele snapped a scoreless tie early in the third period Friday night and goalie Petr Mrazek stopped all 27 shots he faced for the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes, who went on to beat the host New York Rangers, 3-0.
The shutout was the second of the season for Mrazek, who also blanked the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 16, and the 16th of his career.
Andrei Svechnikov and Brock McGinn scored empty-netters in the final 75 seconds for the Hurricanes, who swept a back-to-back set of road games against the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. Carolina has won three straight and five of six to move within one point of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for the Rangers, who have lost three of four. Prior to the game New York honored its 1994 Stanley Cup-winning team — the franchise’s only Cup since 1940.
The Rangers outshot the Hurricanes 20-18 in the first two periods and had the best scoring chance early in the second, when New York’s Kevin Hayes fired the puck past Mrazek before Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin swept it out with his stick just before the puck would have crossed the goal line.
The Hurricanes dominated the first few minutes of the third before Foegele finally scored. Carolina recorded the first five shots of the period before scoring on an end-to-end rush. Greg McKegg passed around center ice to Saku Maenalanen, who backhanded the puck to Foegele as he neared the crease. With Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei bending to try to block Foegele’s path and fellow defenseman Adam McQuaid trying to cut in, Foegele fired a shot that clipped off Lundqvist’s glove and into the net.
The Rangers buzzed over the next several minutes but missed their best chance to tie the score when Hayes’ shot caromed off the left post with 5:45 left. Five seconds later, Slavin was whistled for holding, but New York failed to record a shot during the power play.
The Rangers pulled Lundqvist with 1:35 left, but the Hurricanes put the game away with the two empty-netters — Svechnikov’s goal with 1:15 remaining and McGinn’s length-of-the-ice goal with 28.8 seconds to go.