RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist didn’t want to sit out — certainly not against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Lundqvist made a season-high 45 saves, Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist, and New York beat Carolina 4-2 on Thursday night.
Following a home win over Detroit on Wednesday, Lundqvist lobbied coach David Quinn to make back-to-back starts against an opponent he’s long dominated.
“I was pushing him to let me play one more game,” said Lundqvist, who has 31 career wins over the Hurricanes. “I have been sitting a lot. When you play more games, you get into a flow where it almost feels like an extension of the last game.”
Artemi Panarin also had a goal and assist for the Rangers, who continued their recent mastery of the Hurricanes. Adam Fox added an empty-net goal in the third period.
The Rangers have won 28 of their past 34 games with Carolina, and Lundqvist has won 22 of his past 26 starts against them.
Lundqvist, who didn’t play in the three games prior to his back-to-back starts, didn’t know his exact 31-12-1 career record against Carolina but had an idea it was remarkable.
“I have a pretty record here,” Lundqvist, 37, who is his 15th NHL season. “It must be something in the water.”
Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes, who had a 47-to-19 shot advantage. The Hurricanes, who lost for the third straight game, dominated the first period.
Lundqvist made 22 stops and staved off two Carolina power-play opportunities in the first period. Panarin scored with 27.5 seconds left in the first to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
“We were just hanging on for dear life,” Quinn said. “To get out of that period 1-0 was unbelievable in a lot of ways.”
Carolina tied it up at 14:32 in the second period with a tip-in by Hamilton off a deep shot from Jaccob Slavin.
Lemieux countered with his first goal of the season at 18:04 when he tipped in a long shot from Tony DeAngelo.
Buchnevich, who assisted on Lemieux’s goal, scored on a backhander. It came just 75 seconds into the third period and after a turnover by Carolina defenseman Jake Gardiner.
The Rangers have won five of their past seven games, after going winless in the five games.
LW Erik Haula, who leads Carolina with eight goals, missed his second straight game with a knee injury.
The Rangers have 13 sets of back-to-back games this season. They beat Detroit 5-1 on Wednesday and the Hurricanes on Thursday. They lost both games in their first set of back-to-backs earlier this season.
The 22 shots in the first period were the most for Carolina in any period this season.
The Rangers visit Florida on Sunday.
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