Trailing by two goals after the first period in an eventual 3-2 win last night, the Rangers flipped the switch.

“We were a little slow for whatever reason, not with our legs but with our minds. I don’t think we, as defensemen, or as a unit of five, were going back quickly enough for pucks,” Ryan McDonagh said. “We weren’t able to allow ourselves to have options to make a breakout. Then we started playing quicker, our forwards were quicker making available options and it allowed us to come up ice together a little more and spend time in their zone. When the game was a little faster it allowed us to see some things and be creative a little more.”

’Canes praise Nash

Even Carolina players complimented Rick Nash on his backhander that tied it. “Give Nash credit,” said Ron Hainsey, who was in the box on Jimmy Vesey’s game-winner. “He gets a good shot from a tough angle. He’s a great player.” Nash totaled three of the team’s 21 shots, had five attempts blocked and two misses.

Stalberg: We were better

Former Ranger Viktor Stalberg, who scored twice, once off a terrible turnover by Kevin Klein to the left of Henrik Lundqvist, said the team “wasn’t happy [about the two calls on Hainsey, but we should find a way to kill it off. We stopped playing a little bit in the third. For two periods we were by far the better team.”

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Ice chips

With three Leafs scoring Tuesday night, Toronto and the Blueshirts are the only teams with three players with 10 or more goals: It’s Nash, Michael Grabner and Kevin Hayes for the Rangers . . . They are 7-3-0 when allowing the first goal and have won 12 straight at home against Carolina.