Svechnikov scores twice as Hurricanes rout Rangers
Former Ranger Brady Skjei added three assists for the surging Hurricanes and Jack Drury, Jordan Martinook, Jalen Chatfield and Michael Bunting also scored as Carolina improved to 7-1-3 in their last 11 games. Svechnikov has points in five straight games, including six goals.
“That was huge against a team at the top of the league right now,'' Skjei said as the Hurricanes moved within five points of the first-place Rangers. ”It was a big win for us. We're confident shooting the puck and we have elite guys who can score."
Chris Kreider scored the lone goal for the Rangers, who have lost seven times this season by three of more goals.
“There's no reason for us to show up and play that game,'' Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said of his team's subpar effort. ”We had no pushback. They are very opportunistic. They play a fast game. We just weren't up the same speed as they were."
”I was fortunate to get a lot of good passes and put it in the back of the net,” said Drury, the 23-year-old nephew of Rangers general manager Chris Drury.
Aho has points in five straight and leads Carolina with 43 points, including 15 goals. He has 10 assists and 12 points overall in his last four games.
Carolina’s power play was potent in December, going 18-for-49 for the second-best percentage in the league behind Boston.
“We played perfect tonight and the power-play has been great,″ Svechnikov said. ”And Koch has been amazing. He’s getting better and better. It's exciting to see him doing so well."
Kreider broke through for New York at 4:30 of the second with his 19th goal, redirecting a Trouba shot past Kochetkov. Artemi Panarin also assisted and has points in 30 of his 36 games this season. He leads the Rangers with 51 points.
But Martinook quickly restored Carolina’s two-goal lead at 6:32 after a misplay with the puck by Shesterkin.
In the third, Chatfield made it 4-1 at 1:33 before Svechnikov scored again at 2:56. Bunting closed out the scoring at 15:49.
Svechnikov and Aho have combined for 23 points over the last five games.
“They've been dominant. There's no other way to put it,'' Skjei said. ”Our best players have been on fire the last week. It's fun to watch. I just try to get them the puck."
The 24-year-old Kochetkov improved to 6-1-2 over his last nine appearances for Carolina while Shesterkin had his five-game winning streak snapped.
The Hurricanes have only two road games left the rest of January with eight games at home.
“We scored on just about every scoring chance we had tonight,'' Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. ”And we got some big saves. We've been on a good stretch. We just have to keep plugging along."
Rangers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: Visit the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL