NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Fox had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 41 shots, and the New York Rangers held on to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Wednesday night.
Mika Zibanejad scored in his return after missing 13 games with an upper body injury, Brendan Smith also had a goal and Artemi Panarin added two assists to help the Rangers improve to 9-4-1 in their last 14 games.
Ryan Dzingel and Warren Foegele scored for the Hurricanes, who had won two straight. Petr Mrazek finished with 22 saves.
Fox capped a strong first period when he deflected Panarin’s one-timer past Mrazek with 1:40 left to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It gave Panarin at least a point in 15 of the last 16 games.
Dzingel got Carolina on the scoreboard with 5:31 left in the second when he redirected Dougie Hamilton’s shot from the point. Andrei Svechnikov assisted on the play, extending his point streak to nine games.
Just 1:29 later, Foegele pushed a loose puck in front past Lundqvist to pull Carolina within one.
Lundqvist made his best save of the night late in the second period when he robbed Martin Necas to preserve New York’s 3-2 lead. Necas fired a sharp-angled wrist shot but Lundqvist somehow knocked the puck out of mid-air with his stick.
Zibanejad opened the scoring at 2:54 of the first when Fox delivered a perfect cross-ice pass to set up the power-play goal. Zibanejad played for the first time since sustaining his injury against Boston on Oct. 27. The Rangers were 8-4-1 without their top center, including come-from-behind victories in their previous two games.
Smith got his second of the season when his shot sailed past Mrazek at 4:12 after the puck was deflected by a Hurricanes skater. Smith, a natural defenseman, has spent the majority of this season playing forward but skates on the blue line during the penalty kill. Rangers defensemen have recorded 21 goals this season, the most in the NHL.
Lundqvist, who earned his 456th win, became the sixth player in Rangers history to skate in 1,000 NHL games (regular season and playoffs). Panarin has at least two points in 10 of the last 12 games. New York has registered three or more goals in 10 of the past 11 games.
The Rangers visit Boston on Friday.
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