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Recap: Mrazek, Canes Blank Rangers

Canes win first game at MSG since Oct. 2010

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

NEW YORK - The Carolina Hurricanes battled their way to their third straight victory on this five-game road trip in a 3-0 shutout win over the New York Rangers.

Petr Mrazek made 27 saves in his second shutout of the season, and Warren Foegele scored the game-winning goal at the 6:43 mark of the third period, as the Canes won their first game at Madison Square Garden since Oct. 2010.

Here are five takeaways from the only Friday night game on the NHL docket.

One

In two of their three wins on this road trip, the Hurricanes have gotten a shutout from each of their goaltenders.

Tonight, it was Mrazek, as he turned away all 27 shots he saw to earn his second shutout of the season.

"You're always focused," Mrazek said. "Those are the types of games where one bad bounce can decide the game."

Video: Mrazek earns Friday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"Petr made some great saves," Foegele said. "We knew once we got one we needed to shut it down, and that's what we did there at the end."

"[Goaltending] is the difference in our season. These guys have both been great," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It just gives us a lot of confidence that when we're not playing our best, we still have a chance to win. That's special, really."

Two

Speaking of goaltenders, how about Jaccob Slavin?

He's listed as a defenseman, sure, but he made three unbelievable defensive plays tonight, including two that directly prevented the puck from going in the net and a third that at least broke up what would have been a scoring opportunity at the top of the crease.

In the first period, he tied up Jimmy Vesey to prevent him from getting a stick on a rebound that would have been an easy tap-in.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: Jaccob Slavin is insane 😱 pic.twitter.com/LhXvPGLZFF

In the second, as Kevin Hayes tried to tuck one in around Mrazek's outstretch pad, Slavin positioned his stick on the goal line and whacked the puck out of harm's way.

Video: CAR@NYR: Slavin makes superb play to prevent goal

"That was a big save by him," Mrazek said. "He did a nice job. A big save by Slav."

Later, Filip Chytil attempted to center the puck, but Slavin sprawled to the ice and broke up the feed and then cleared the puck with his outstretched stick.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: Welcome to the @Jslavin74 show! pic.twitter.com/zWliO2VswG

Simply, he was phenomenal. But, that's just another night for Slavin.

Three

It's been said since the beginning of the season: The Hurricanes need everyone all-in in order to be successful.

It only makes sense then that the Canes fourth line was the one to break the ice in a 0-0 hockey game in the third period.

Greg McKegg walked the puck up through the neutral zone, gained the blue line and laid it off to Saku Maenalanen. Maenalanen then backhanded a pass through a collection of defending sticks, putting the puck right on Foegele's tape, and his quick snap shot beat Henrik Lundqvist glove side.

Video: CAR@NYR: Foegele beats Lundqvist on wrister from slot

"It was a great play by Kegger to join the rush with speed and an amazing pass by Saku," Foegele said. "I was just trying to get it off quick."

"It was a great play, especially at a time in the game where somebody needs to do something," Brind'Amour said. "You don't maybe necessarily think it's going to be those guys, but it was a pretty nice play. That's what's been going right lately. We've had contributions from everybody. That's definitely the recipe for success."

That trio has formulated a fourth line that excels in its purpose.

"We all have something in common. We all work hard. A lot of our success is from working hard and forechecking," Foegele said. "We need that if we want to keep moving forward."

Four

On the scoreboard, this game stood in stark contrast to the one the Canes played the night prior in Buffalo. That was a wild, back-and-forth affair, especially in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

This was a back-and-forth game, as well, but only in chances. It was a grind in the most entertaining way, and with a 0-0 score heading into the third period, it felt like the first goal might win the game.

Sure enough.

"We were going chances back and forth," Foegele said. "It's fun playing in those tight games because you know that next goal could be the winner. It's good to see both teams bring out the best, and I'm pretty happy we got the win."

The Hurricanes began the third period by dispatching 72 seconds of carryover power play time for the Rangers.

"It was a real timely kill. I didn't think we gave them too much there," Brind'Amour said. "They didn't get any momentum going or anything like that, so it was a real good third and a gutsy win."

Video: CAR@NYR: McGinn pots empty-netter from distance

Andrei Svechnikov and Brock McGinn sealed the win with a pair of empty-net goals in the final minutes of regulation.

Five

It's over. It's finally over.

After 16 straight losses at Madison Square Garden (0-13-3), an unfortunate streak that didn't make much sense in the first place, the Canes finally broke the hex.

Maybe it was the red jerseys on the road. Maybe it's just that type of season.

But it's thankfully over.

"The guys don't even know that stuff. Most of them have played one game in here," Brind'Amour said. "It's definitely nice to have that so we don't have to talk about it anymore."

Up Next

The Hurricanes don't have to travel far. They face the New Jersey Devils in a Sunday matinee.

"I think we're rolling, but we've got to keep the foot on the pedal. No steps back," Foegele said. "We need each win, and I think everyone in this room knows that."

"These guys, from day one, have bought into what we're trying to do. It's playing for each other," Brind'Amour said. "It's given us a chance every night. That's what you hope for."

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