Sebastian Aho scored a pair of 3rd period goals, as the Carolina Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Rangers, 4-3, Thursday night in Raleigh. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Blueshirts, and a five-game road winning streak.
The Rangers protested Aho’s second goal, at 12:28 of the 3rd, saying that Antti Raanta was interfered with in the crease by Carolina’s Elias Lindholm. The play was reviewed but the goal stood, giving Carolina a 4-3 lead.
On a positive note, the once-dormant Rangers power-play unit, which hadn’t scored in ten games, awoke from its slumber and scored three power play goals Thursday. Chris Kreider scored one in the 1st period, and Mika Zibanejad scored two power play goals in the 2nd period, to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
1st period goals by Jeff Skinner and Valentin Zykov gave Carolina a 2-1 lead after one period.
Midway through the 3rd, trailing 3-2, Aho scored a power play goal 9:04 into the 3rd to tie the game 3-3, with Nick Holden in the penalty box for tripping. Then, three minutes later, with Zibanejad in the box for a slashing penalty, Aho scored again, at 12:28, to give the Hurricanes the lead for good.
The Rangers were without six injured players, Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast, Dan Girardi, and Kevin Klein.
The Rangers [now 43-23-2, 88 pts] play the Red Wings in Detroit Sunday night.