RALEIGH, N.C. – The poopers of the New York party.
The Rangers spoiled all the fun of the Hurricanes, banning another silly victory celebration at home, which had become the star of the league. Henrik Lundqvist made 43 saves and got a 2-1 win on Tuesday night, coming down the ice without incident.
"I'm mad as long as we win and they can not do it," said Mika Zibanejad about the now famous celebrations on the Hurricanes' ice, which included limo and pantomiming.
The festivities inspired Canadian TV broadcaster Don Cherry to call the Hurricanes "a bunch of jerks", and the team surfaced on the associated marketing, selling "jerky" t-shirts and performing innumerable segments in the game on the dashboard. .
"It does not bother me. I think I would like it if I were part of this team and we could celebrate with the fans, "Zibanejad said. "It's different, nobody else does something like that. It's cool. I do not like it, I do not hate it. It's their thing, so let them run with it.
"As long as we come in here and we win and make sure we do not see it or hear about it while we're here, I totally agree with that."
At this point, the Rangers (26-25-8) are not giving up, despite the remaining playoff shots, and are expected to worsen once some moves are made before the trading deadline on Monday. But in the locker room, the result was still considered a four-point match against a rival of the division, and the Hurricanes (31-23-6) took a hard blow at their own aspirations in the post-season despite the win Blueshirts, 44-26. .
"I do not think the pursuit and the playoff hunt are over by any means for us here in the locker room," said Zibanejad. "People outside may say so, but it's up to you and the rest of the population to think about what we should do and what we should not do. For us, we just take the game per game. It's so simple. We can not look ahead. "
If that's what they did, they'd realize that two key pieces, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, will likely be traded over the next few days. Other coins are also possible, including the man who scored the winning goal Tuesday, Vlad Namestnikov, finishing a free puck at 6:10 of the third period, just two seconds after the end of the game of Rangers power.
But from there, everything was Lundqvist. Lundqvist had his best game in weeks, only making his second start in five games and saying he had to be better. And there must have been at least some mild footage of 2014 dancing in his head after denying Justin Williams – this year's Conn Smythe winner with the Kings after defeating the Rangers in the Stanley Cup final – with a classic backup to left. post to keep the lead of a goal with 1:37 remaining.
"I had to improvise a bit," Lundqvist said. "It worked, it's a good feeling to win, that's all I want to do."
Of course, that's all the Rangers want to do, and that's exactly why General Manager Jeff Gorton plans to continue implementing this rebuild before 3pm. Monday is coming. But they are proud athletes, and they are not too upset by a 1 to 1 tie after 40 minutes. Jordan Martinook and Connor Brickley scored at 47 seconds in the second half, halfway through the second period, after Carolina held the game.
"I did not think we played really well in the first two periods," said coach David Quinn. "We survived and [Lundqvist] was a big piece of it. My boy, he had a very good night. "
Good enough for a win, good enough to keep the optimism alive, and good enough to keep the wacky Hurricanes celebrations in suspense for one night.
"I felt that the things I had changed worked a little for me," Lundqvist said. "It was a good match."