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Hurricanes storm Rangers, still lose

Peppered with shots, Lundqvist worth his salt

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- After stopping 74 shots in a little over 24 hours, Henrik Lundqvist was nearly too exhausted to talk.

His play on the ice said plenty.

Lundqvist made a season-high 48 saves, and the New York Rangers gave the Carolina Hurricanes their club record-tying seventh straight home loss, 4-1 on Saturday night.

"I'm just so tired, I don't know what to say right now," Lundqvist said with a smile. "I don't know what I'm saying. Short answers today."

Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan scored 31 seconds apart, and Rick Nash added a goal and an assist during the Rangers' three-goal second period. Brian Boyle added an empty-netter just before the buzzer.

New York has earned seven points during a 3-0-1 run to move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers are tied in points with the eighth-place New York Islanders, but own the tiebreakers. More importantly, the Rangers lead ninth-place Winnipeg by two points.

Division and area rival New Jersey is three points back in 10th place.

"Everything's important. The belief in here has held strong, we've held together and we've seen some things that we're improving along the way," Rangers centre Brad Richards said. "Now we're getting some points. No matter how you get them, we need them desperately."

Zac Dalpe, called up from Charlotte of the AHL earlier Saturday, scored with 10:33 left for Carolina, which had a season-high 49 shots but couldn't convert on two late power plays.

"That's a lot of rubber at the net for a team, and (Lundqvist) came up with some big saves," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "I don't know what more our guys can do. There were great scoring chances. We asked them to go to the net, get second and third rebounds. We did everything you're supposed to do, and were only able to beat him once."

Dan Ellis stopped 27 shots in two periods for the Hurricanes and was replaced by Justin Peters, who made eight saves.

The Hurricanes lost their fourth straight and for the 11th time in 12 games while matching the mark for consecutive home losses set in the 2002-03 season -- a record that could fall Tuesday night when the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins visit.

"Losing's not fun. It's not fun for anybody to watch. It's not fun for anybody to play," captain Eric Staal said. "But I think you start pointing fingers, start blaming certain things, it's not going to make you a better person or better player. We're after something bigger here, and the type of attitude and work ethic we had tonight, we can live with. Not that we're going to accept losing, but the effort was there."

Lundqvist finished with a career high for saves in regulation, surpassed only by his 50-save performance in an overtime loss to Pittsburgh in 2010.

"That's the best I've seen him play since I've been here," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2013 B2

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