Brind’Amour scored with 6:05 left in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
The winning goal—Brind’Amour’s second in a three-game span—extended his point streak to a season-high six games. He is the only player to record a point in each of the Hurricanes’ 10 wins.
“Offensively, he’s on top of his game. He’s in great shape for having to go through as long a year as he did,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He came back in better shape than he did last year, if that’s even possible. I think it shows up in his conditioning and the way he plays the game. Night in and night out, all the minutes that are asked of him. It’s been terrific.”
“Sometimes, you see the puck leave the stick and you know it’s labeled for a corner, and you’re just hoping your goalie sees it,” Laviolette said. “And at the last second, he kicked out a pad, or he got a glove on it. He made a couple of difficult saves that went under the radar.”
Brind’Amour’s goal came moments after the Rangers won a faceoff in the left circle of their zone.
Former Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward lost the puck, and Carolina’s Justin Williams tracked it down behind the goal line. He passed to Brind’Amour in the slot, setting him up for a quick wrist shot that beat goalie Kevin Weekes high.
“A good read, a good shot,” Brind’Amour said. “You know he’s going to go down. The shot went exactly where it needed to, so I’ll take it.”
The Rangers pulled Weekes with about 54 seconds remaining for an extra attacker, but they managed only one shot in the final moments.
“When you come in to play the Stanley Cup champions on the road, and you have a chance to make a statement, you can’t have a breakdown,” Aaron Ward said. “Are we disappointed with the effort? No. We did a lot of good things. We played well. … It’s not like we laid down against them.”
Weekes made 22 saves for the Rangers, who missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division and remained tied with the Devils.
“Not only did their guys play well in front of the net, they played well behind the net,” Weekes said.
Adams put the Hurricanes up 1-0 when he scored his third goal of the season less than 3 minutes in, snatching a backhanded pass from Anton Babchuk and beating Weekes with a tap-in.
Jagr tied it with a power-play goal late in the second period. He took Brendan Shanahan’s pass in the left circle and snapped a shot past Ward at 16:02.
Both teams missed on first-period breakaway chances. Cam Ward stopped Jagr cold shortly after Adams’ goal. Jagr made a nifty move left and tried to beat the goalie stickside, but Ward blocked it with his right pad.
Near the end of the period, Carolina’s Eric Belanger seemed to have Weekes fooled, but his shot bounced off the left post. It was the first of four Carolina shots that struck posts and missed.
“It wasn’t a lopsided game by any means, but it could have gone differently, for sure,” Adams said.
Jagr is one goal shy of becoming the 16th player to reach 600 in the NHL. … Shanahan has points in five straight games. … Carolina LW Ray Whitney’s point streak ended at five. … Aaron Ward and C Matt Cullen played at the RBC Center for the first time since helping the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup. Both signed free-agent deals with the Rangers. … New York D Darius Kasparaitis was scratched for the second straight night after being recalled from a conditioning assignment at AHL Hartford. … Carolina D Tim Gleason (shoulder) missed his eighth straight game.