NEW YORK -- Michael Grabner finished off a natural hat trick with two empty-net goals, and Henrik Lundqvist brushed off an early goal against to finish with 32 saves, including one on a penalty shot, to help the New York Rangers defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
Forwards David Desharnais and Paul Carey also scored for the Rangers (14-10-2), who have won five of their past six overall and nine of their past 10 at the Garden. New York, which also won 6-1 in Carolina on Nov. 22, has won 14 straight home games against the Hurricanes.
[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Rangers highlights]
Forward Justin Williams scored for his 700th NHL point, and Scott Darling made 21 saves for the Hurricanes (10-9-5), who are 1-3-1 in their past five games.
Video: CAR@NYR: Williams beats Lundqvist for 700th NHL point
This was the first of four straight games the Rangers will play against Metropolitan Division opponents. They play at the Pittsburgh Penguins, at the Washington Capitals and at home against the New Jersey Devils next week.
"You could put yourself in a hole pretty quickly if you don't muster out some points," defenseman Marc Staal said. "Our division is insane right now how close it is and I think it's going to be that way right to the end. We have a pretty talented division so you definitely have to be up for these games and make 'em count."
Video: CAR@NYR: Lundqvist denies Aho's wraparound try
Lundqvist and the Rangers had to bounce back after falling behind 56 seconds into the first period on Williams' goal off a shot from the right-wing wall that Lundqvist said knuckled and dipped to beat him low on the blocker side.
"It was definitely a test after that goal," Lundqvist said.
If this were earlier this season, the Rangers may not have passed. They allowed the first goal in the first 5:29 of six of their first 10 games. They were 0-4-2 in those games.
"We're a more confident group now," Lundqvist said. "I feel better about my game. I think as a group we feel better. I feel as though I answered, and as a group we did."
Lundqvist made his next 10 saves to close out the first period, and Desharnais and Grabner scored in the first 1:52 of the second period.
Desharnais scored on the power play at 37 seconds. It was off a giveaway by Darling, who whiffed as he tried to move the puck and it instead slid into the crease. Desharnais was first to the puck and put it in for his third goal of the season.
Video: CAR@NYR: Desharnais capitalizes on Darling miscue
"That was a huge mistake by me," Darling said. "That got them back in the game."
Grabner made it 2-1 with his 11th goal of the season 75 seconds later. He used his speed to gain inside position on Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk in the slot and redirected a pass off the right-wing wall from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk into the net.
"[Shattenkirk] was looking up all the way up the ice trying to find me so I just tried to get open for him and he made a great play," Grabner said.
Lundqvist preserved the 2-1 lead at 3:20 of the third by using his left pad to stop Carolina forward Jeff Skinner on a penalty shot. Skinner was slashed by Shattenkirk on his way in for a breakaway.
"We had a shootout last week [against the Vancouver Canucks] and I got to work on it a little bit," Lundqvist said. "A couple of things I did well in that situation I tried to do in this situation. The timing was perfect. I felt good. I felt I had him under control."
Grabner scored empty-net goals at 17:47 and 18:48. Carey scored a power-play goal at 19:20.
Video: Grabner nets natural hat trick for fifth career hatty
Goal of the game
Grabner's goal to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 1:52 of the second period.
Video: CAR@NYR: Grabner scores off Shattenkirk's great pass
Save of the game
Lundqvist's glove save on Brock McGinn at 15:30 of the first period.
Video: CAR@NYR: Lundqvist flashes the leather on McGinn
Highlight of the game
Lundqvist's save on Skinner's penalty shot at 3:20 of the third period.
Video: CAR@NYR: Lundqvist denies Skinner's penalty shot try
They said it
"Earlier in the season, letting up one early goal led to three early goals. I think we have done a good job of recognizing, like tonight, that's a fluky goal. It's a long season and some of those are going to go in, but we responded well. We know that [Lundqvist] isn't going to let up many of those and that's just one we have to get back for him." -- Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk
Need to know
Lundqvist tied Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito of the Chicago Blackhawks for the second-most wins with one team in NHL history (418). Martin Brodeur had 688 wins with the New Jersey Devils. … Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh played 22:54 and had an assist and five blocked shots in his first game since Nov. 19. He missed the previous four games with an abdominal strain.
Hurricanes: Host the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-F, NHL.TV)
Rangers: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, ATTSN-PT, MSG, NHL.TV)
Video: Grabner's hat trick powers Rangers past Hurricanes