The New York Rangers clinched a 2013 playoff berth with a 4-3 OT win against the Carolina Hurricanes in a way that seems fitting: by the skin of their teeth. It probably also feels “right” that captain Ryan Callahan scored the game-winner.
As has been the case quite frequently, it wasn’t always pretty.
The Rangers gave up a two-goal lead by allowing three Hurricanes goals (two by Jiri Tlusty, one by Tuomo Ruutu) but a generous bounce changed a dangerous Brad Richards shot into a power-play goal.
It’s probably also fitting that the Rangers out-shot the Canes noticeably (38-21), as that’s been a subtle theme of the Rangers’ struggles.*
This victory greatly damages the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff hopes. The Jets now need the Ottawa Senators to lose out and they need to hold on for a win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday to make it.
Meanwhile, the Rangers can turn their hopes to a role people didn’t expect them to take on before this season: as a threatening underdog.
* – And a sign that their first-round opponents should take them seriously.
Here’s the Callahan OT winner: