RALEIGH, N.C. - The way his team had been playing the first two games, David Quinn said he knew his team was going to start scoring goals soon enough. But he couldn't have seen this kind of wild game coming.
The floodgates did indeed open for the Rangers on Sunday night in Carolina, but in ways good and bad, and in the end the Blueshirts fell to the Hurricanes, 8-5, to close a weekend back-to-back road trip.
Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider each scored twice for the Rangers, who had five players with multiple points and 10 players make the scoresheet in a game in which they never trailed until the final Carolina rally in the third period. Lucas Wallmark forged the game's final tie in the third, and Andrei Svechnikov, the 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick, scored his first NHL goal with 9:16 to play to put Carolina ahead for the first time all night.
"That's not the way you want to do it, when you're up and they keep coming back," Mika Zibanejad said. "We made it too hard for ourselves, and that doesn't work against a team like this."
Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast and Tony DeAngelo, who made his season debut, each had a pair of assists, while Pavel Buchnevich scored his second of the season on a second-period power play. But Justin Williams set up three Hurricanes scores, two of them by Warren Foegele, to keep the Rangers still seeking their first victory of 2018-19.
Video: NYR@CAR: Buchnevich cleans up in front for PPG
Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves for the Rangers in his first start of the season.
"This game was pretty tough," Georgiev said afterward.
"He made some big saves when we had a penalty kill when it was 4-4, and he allowed us to keep it at 4-4," Quinn said. "I feel bad for him, because his first game of the year and we play in front of him the way we did. A hard game for a goalie to play, for sure."
Quinn tinkered with his lineup over the weekend, and on Sunday night decided to dress seven defensemen with Tony DeAngelo seeing his first action this season and Vlad Namestnikov rejoining the lineup after sitting out Saturday's game in Buffalo. The main goal, the coach said, was to find DeAngelo a turn in the lineup, and "Tony played well," Quinn said.
The Rangers looked in business when Vesey, who had been knocking on the door throughout the first two games, picked up his first of the season just 49 seconds in off a patient 2-on-1 feed from Hayes - Vesey now has six goals in nine career games against the Hurricanes. Kreider doubled the advantage at 6:02 after Namestnikov won a battle and rimmed the puck down low to Howden, whose pinpoint pass to Kreider earned the rookie his first NHL assist one night after he scored his first NHL goal.
Video: NYR@CAR: Vesey opens the scoring 49 seconds in
"We've got to be able to put in a 60-minute effort," Zibanejad said. "Again, we're doing some good things out there, we started the periods pretty good, but we've got to stick to it."
After Carolina fought back to tie on goals by Foegele and Jordan Martinook, the teams traded goals - the score was 2-2 after 20 minutes, and 4-4 after 40 - until Kreider raced around Dougie Hamilton and slid the puck through Petr Mrazek's pads for a 5-4 Ranger lead at 4:26 of the third.
And even though Wallmark's goal only tied it at 5-5, it was probably the game's turning point, because it came only 35 seconds after Kreider had given the Rangers their fourth lead of the night. Quinn said he could sense the deflation in his troops.
Video: NYR@CAR: Kreider slips home his second goal
"I did, because we had kept battling back," the coach said. "When they tied it, we battled back, and I think sometimes it was just like, 'Here we go again.' You could sense it a little on the bench."
Now the Rangers head home for three straight games at the Garden, beginning on Thursday against San Jose.
"Two ways to look at it," Kreider said. "We can hang our heads and feel bad for ourselves, even though no one else does. Or we can learn from it and move forward."
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