The Rangers are 8-0-1 after a loss, but coach Alain Vigneault continued to wave the warning flag Saturday after they recovered from an awful first 40 minutes to score three times in the third period for a 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes. “We’re like all the teams,’’ he said. “We need our goaltender to be one of our best players and we need our other best players, whether they be Ds or forwards, to play at the level they’re supposed to.”
One element that has been the steadiest recently has been the penalty kill. The Rangers were 3-for-3 Saturday and have not surrendered a power-play goal in 11 of the last 15 games.
Klein is plus-2 in return
Defenseman Kevin Klein, who was benched against Buffalo on Thursday, with Vigneault saying he needed to play with more jam and urgency, led all skaters with five blocked shots. He recorded four hits and was a plus-2 in 16:47. J.T. Miller, playing with a sore knee, blocked four shots, as did Dan Girardi.
Replay reviews go their way
The Blueshirts were the beneficiaries of two video reviews. Derek Stepan’s goal at 4:05 of the first period was pulled back across the line by goalie Michael Leighton’s glove and the officials’ scrutiny of the replay confirmed that it was a goal. Hurricanes coach Bill Peters’ challenge that Michael Grabner was offside before his third-period goal was deemed inconclusive . . . Although the Rangers have 35 points in 26 games, Henrik Lundqvist said the playoff race “is going to be a tight one until the end and there’s going to be a lot of teams involved. It’s going to come down to will — how badly do you want to win every night, because there’s so many teams that feel they should be in the race.”